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Fourteen West Ada Students Named National Merit Finalists

March 6, 2019 – Fourteen high school students in West Ada School District have earned Finalist recognition by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. These academically talented high school seniors are competing for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships valued at more than $32 million this spring.


“Less than one percent of high school seniors in our country have achieved this academic recognition this school year,” Superintendent Dr. Mary Ann Ranells boasted. “These students are leaders in our schools and community. I am thrilled their dedication and enthusiasm for learning is acknowledged.”


Approximately 1.6 million high school juniors entered into the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). From the nearly 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 advanced to the Finalist level. Advancement to Finalist level requires students submit a detailed scholarship application, including academic record, participation in activities, demonstrated leadership skills, employment, and honors earned. These students demonstrate an outstanding academic record throughout high school, have the endorsement of a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores commensurate with earlier performance on the PSAT/NMSQT.


“The hard work of families, neighbors and educators is also acknowledged in our students receiving these awards,” Dr. Ranells shared. “West Ada schools are filled and surrounded by people who care for the success of our children.”


National Merit Scholarships are available in three types – 2,500 National Merit Scholarships valued at $2,500 each awarded on a state-representational basis, 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships, and approximately 4,000 scholarships provided by colleges and universities.


National Merit Finalists

Centennial High School:

  • Calvin Arstein
  • Puja Batchu
  • Sarrah Belhadj
  • John Chen
  • Michael Min
  • John Shieh


Eagle High School:

  • Rachel Liu
  • Maureen Oneal


Meridian High School:

  • Barrett Fuller


Mountain View High School:

  • Peyton Badger


Renaissance High School:

  • Ian Clifford
  • Jessica East
  • Blake Magnuson
  • Tucker Uriarte