Academics Students

Ladue Horton Watkins High School is Home to 29 National Merit Scholarship Finalists

The Ladue School District is proud to announce that 29 Ladue Horton Watkins High School seniors have advanced as Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s (NMSC) 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The 29 students are among approximately 15,000 students recognized as Finalists across the U.S.; they now have the opportunity to compete for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered this spring.

“I am thrilled that 29 Ladue Horton Watkins High School students have advanced as National Merit Scholarship Finalists,” Superintendent Dr. Jim Wipke said. “It’s great to see our students are thriving academically, even in the face of a global pandemic. I was especially excited to learn that we had broken a school record for most Ladue School students at one time to advance to the Finalist level.”

The students first were named Semifinalists in November 2020; a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.

Around 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools enter the National Merit Scholarship Program each year by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which serves as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

“We wish all 29 LHWHS students and the other finalists well as they continue to compete for National Merit Scholarships this spring, and future academic success in their post-secondary careers,” Dr. Wipke said.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2021 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

The 29 Finalists are:

  • Natalie Ashkar
  • Ashna Chali
  • Harry Chen
  • Nicolas Chicoine
  • Samuel Cobin
  • Gabriel DiAntonio
  • Jason Ding
  • Diya Diwakaran
  • Austin Gage
  • Huamin Gao
  • Ari Gottesman
  • Grace Hu
  • Stephen Jiang
  • Shriya Koneru
  • Walter Kornfeld
  • Louis Li
  • Jacob Page
  • William Pan
  • Caroline Powell
  • Marina Sha
  • Noah Smock
  • Darren Teh
  • Joshua Wolk
  • Lauren Xie
  • William Xie
  • Jason Xu
  • John Yeldham
  • Eric Yin
  • Alexander Zhou