At a special Convocation on Tuesday (Sept. 10), Jesuit High School announced that nine seniors have been named National Merit Semifinalists.
The nine Semifinalists, who were introduced by Jesuit teacher Austin Freeman '02 (see video and photos below), are: Bennett Andersen, Christopher Browy, Spencer Farfante, Anthony Kirchner, Mark Rumsey, Andy Sebek, Alexander Skantze, Collin Talbot, and Gio Taylor.
Nine National Merit Semifinalists in one year is tied for the second-most in the school's history. Over the past seven years, Jesuit has had more boys Semifinalists – 42 – than any high school in the Tampa Bay area, including a school-record 12 last school year.
The prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program, which is in its 65th year, announced this week approximately 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide. Semifinalists are selected based on their scores on the PSAT, a standardized test administered their junior year. More than 1.5 million nationwide took the PSAT last year, and less than one-half of 1% of all seniors are being honored as Semifinalists.
In addition to having more boys National Merit Semifinalists than any school in the area, Jesuit also ranks 6th among the nearly 43 college prep Jesuit high schools in the nation in percentage of its seniors who attained National Merit Semifinalist status, 4.37%.
The nine Jesuit seniors will continue in the pursuit of some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. More than 90 percent of the Semifinalists will attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
Please see below a video of Tuesday's Convocation, and below that are photos of the Semifinalists.