Seventeen LAHS Students Named Semifinalists In 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program

2016 National Merit Semifinalists representing Los Alamos High School at the Capital Congressional Debate at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe from left, Rory Cooley; Rebecca Cai; Sincheng Huang; Colin Wilburn and Michael (Cade) Mallett. Photo by Salvador Zapien/

LAHS Students named Semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program pictured with Principal Brad Parker (front right) and Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus (back center) are (front, left to right): EliseAnne Koskelo; Sarah Schirato; Katherine Schirato; Rachel Wallstrom; Katherine Wang; and Kim Vo; (back, left to right) Nikola Draganic; John Rees; Madeline Lockhart; Devon McCleskey and Ivan Trujillo. (Not pictured: Seung Heon (Victor) Kim). Photo by Salvador Zapien/

LAPS News:

Today officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Los Alamos High School is pleased to acknowledge that 17 members of the Class of 2016 have received this distinction: Rebecca Cai, Rory Cooley, Nikola Draganic, Sincheng Huang, Seung Heon (Victor) Kim, EliseAnne Koskelo, Madeline Lockhart, Michael (Cade) Mallet, Devon McCleskey, John Rees, Katherine Schirato, Sarah Schirato. Ivan Trujillo, Kim Vo, Rachel Wallstrom, Katherine  Wang and Colin Wilburn.

“To have 17 students receive this honor is truly a remarkable reflection of the dedication of our staff and students,” Principal Brad Parker said. “We are extremely proud of these students.”

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $33 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. 

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.

The National Merit Semifinalists and their parents were honored at a luncheon today hosted by the principal. Also in attendance were Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus, Assistant Principals Renee Dunwoody and Carter Payne, Athletic Director Ann Stewart and other guests. The luncheon was catered by teacher Kristen Pyle and her Culinary Arts and Baking students.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

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