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Five UCS students named among top one percent of high school seniors

Studio pics of Merit StudentsFive Utica Community Schools students are among only 16,000 U.S. seniors to be named 2024 National Merit semifinalists.

UCS National Merit Semi-finalists are: Katrina Ishioka, Amrita Nayak, and Branden Pawlicki, of the Gene L. Klida Utica Academy for International Studies; Harjot Singh, of Utica High School; and Katie Van De Winkle, of Eisenhower High School.

Singh and Van De Winkle are also part of the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology.

National Merit Semi-finalists are among the top one percent of the nation’s high school seniors.

“Our entire community is proud of the accomplishment of our National Merit semifinalists,” Superintendent Robert Monroe said. “Through hard work and the support of their UCS teachers, they represent our high expectations and how this district continues to open doors for our students to a successful future.”

More than 1.6 million students of the Class of 2021 entered the National Merit Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semi-finalists includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

To move from semi-finalist to finalist status, students must submit a detailed scholarship application. The application includes information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership, an essay, record of consistently high academic performance, a recommendation by an official of their high school and SAT scores that confirm their PSAT/NMSQT performance.

Finalists have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 7, 140 National Merit Scholarships totaling $28 million next spring.