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National Merit semifinalists named

By Steve Lyttle and Joe Marusak
slyttle@charlotteobserver.com

Students from 17 Mecklenburg County schools and two home-schooled students are among dozens from the Charlotte region named Wednesday as semifinalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

They are among about 16,000 top high school seniors across the country selected to advance in the 59th annual scholarship competition. They are vying for about 8,000 scholarships worth about $35 million, to be offered next spring.

Semifinalists are students who scored in the upper 1 percent of about 1.5 million high school juniors who took the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last spring. Finalists are selected on the basis of academic achievement, participation in school and community activities, honors and awards received, and leadership.

Semifinalists from the region include:

Mecklenburg County

Ardrey Kell High: Manas Agrawal; Seok Jin Hong; Soonmin Hwang; Rohan Sharma; Butler High: Moriah Sharpe; Cato Middle College: Casey McGuirt; Charlotte Catholic High: Nathan Dowd; Sumner Dudick; Meghan Flyke; Andrew Market; Ian McEntee; Charlotte Christian School: Evan Ector; Alexandra Seelig; Charlotte Country Day School: Graham Mazeine; Alexander Owen; Grant Steelman; Hunter Ubersox; Charlotte Latin School: Alison Bonner; Zachary Carter; Madeleine Fish; Drew Hanff; Emily Ho; Hariklea Kokenes; Arthur Lim; Katherine McDowell; Mary Welch; Davidson Community School: Aurora Taylor.

Home school: Anna Harbour; Peter Yukich; Lake Norman Charter School: Michael Clark; Morgan Sammler; Sravya Uppalapati; Mallard Creek High: Kevin Rabel; Myers Park High: Rudolph Banny; Emily Brown; Meredith Freeland; William Fuller; Alexander Griffith; Kristen Heritage; Nathanial Holderman; Emily Shannon; Ann Steele; Andrew Sun; Hannah Wang; Ivy Zerkle; North Mecklenburg High: Hannah Bensky; Jack Bradford; Christopher Pirrung.

Olympic Math, Engineering, Technology and Science School: Henry Yadon; Providence Day School: Matthew Bacon; David Edwards; Duncan Flippo; Nicholas Giordano; John Halligan; Cameron Love; Kevin Lu; Savannah Morgan; Montana Roberts; Alex Sherman; Providence High: John Benjamin Adams; Jared Blum; Sarah Fellman; Madison Gabriel; Brandon Greenblatt; Saikiran Gudla; Willis Lu; Prayag Pershad; Sharath Rama.

South Mecklenburg High: Ellen Adams; Zachary Marcus; Robert Medlin; Zachery Montgomery; Alison Roeth; Siqiao Wang; Woodlawn School: Joseph Andry.

Cabarrus County

Cannon School: Anna Estep; Cox Mill High: Raja Amara, Allyson Randle; First Assembly Christian School: Sarah Hendrix; Home school: Max Meirow; Jay Robinson High: Alexis Oriole; Northwest Cabarrus High: James Stahl.

Caldwell County

South Caldwell High: Lauren Owens.

Catawba County

Discovery High at Newton-Conover: Geoffrey McGee; Hickory High: Jeremy Robison; Home school: Harrison Eggers; Tri City Christian School: Peyton Hedrick.

Cleveland County

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy: Janice Dilgert; Jerishma Patel.

Gaston County

Gaston Day School: Charles Manolakis.

South Point High: Madeline Killen.

Iredell County

Home school: Joshua Shoulders; South Iredell High: Krysten Lamberth; Matthew Stanford; West Iredell High: Ethan Poteat.

Lincoln County

Lincoln Charter School: Hannah Dent.

Rowan County

Salisbury High: Nicholas Greene; Erin Roy; Samantha Washko.

Stanly County

Gray Stone Day School: Kenan Darden; Caroline McLeod; Maria Weber.

Union County

Home school: Ian Jones; Peter Kohler; James Kos; Thomas Leugers; Marvin Ridge High: Austin Bower; Samuel Elmes; Piedmont High: Ashton Braswell; Porter Ridge High: Alyssa Turizo; Weddington High: William Helms; Christopher O’Brien.

York County, S.C.

Clover High: Abigail Hines; Comenius School: Daniel Kim; Fort Mill High: Meagan Bell; Nations Ford High: Andrew White; Northwestern High: Riley League; Nicole Randolph; Westminster Catawba School: Benjamin Johnson; Ethan Start.

Watauga County

Watauga High: Sidney Wiswell.

Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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