Published on September 22nd, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


District Five students named National Merit semifinalists

Pictured above; From left to right: Irmo High Guidance Director Bob Taylor, Assistant Principal of Instruction Kaaren Hampton, Lauren Davis, Nicholas Leonhardt, Maximillan Westerkam and Principal David Riegel.

IRMO – Seven students from Lexington-Richland School District Five are among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Semifinalists from District Five include: Lucas Barnes (Chapin High), Emily Beach (Chapin High), Abby Holdeman (Chapin High), Casey Brayton (Dutch Fork High), Lauren Davis (Irmo High), Nicholas Leonhardt (Irmo High) and Maximilian Westerkam (Irmo High). About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

Chapin High School Principal Dr. Akil Ross said, “The Eagle family is so proud of Lucas, Emily and Abby and what these students have accomplished as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. The designation they’ve earned is a testament to their hard work and commitment in and outside the classroom.”

Dutch Fork High School Principal Dr. Greg Owings added, “We are so proud of Casey Brayton on being named a National Merit semifinalist. Casey defines excellence in academics, and she represents the best of what we hope for in our young people.”

Semifinalists represent the top one percent of more than 1 million students nationwide who took the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. The National Merit Corporation is a nonprofit that works with hundreds of businesses and higher education institutions to underwrite the scholarships.

Irmo High School Principal David Riegel congratulated his school’s semifinalists: “We could not be more proud of these three students.  We know that this is a result of their commitment to their studies and a willingness to take the most challenging classes available to them.  All of them are also of the highest character and are great leaders.  We know that they will have bright futures.”



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