Hamilton County Schools leads the area in National Merit Semifinalists
Posted on 09/13/2018
10 National Merit Semifinalists for Hamilton County SchoolsThe list of National Merit Semifinalists released recently includes ten seniors from Hamilton County Schools which is the largest number for a school district or private school in the Chattanooga area. Six of the ten were from Signal Mountain Middle-High giving the school the largest number of teens from one school recognized in the Chattanooga area including schools in North Georgia and Northeast Alabama.

Students named semifinalists are the highest scoring students in each state and continue in the competition for a National Merit Scholarship. Semifinalists make up fewer than 1 percent of all U.S. high school seniors.

“We are so proud of these amazing students for all of their hard work in achieving this prestigious accomplishment,” said Dr. Shane Harwood, principal at Signal Mountain Middle-High School. “With this being my first year at SMMHS, I also want to congratulate our amazing staff, our former principal Mr. Stinson, last year’s administrative team, and our parents for the roles they’ve played in supporting these students.” Harwood added, “It is through a collective commitment to excellence in teaching and learning that our students aim for and reach the very highest goals, and we are so excited to see what the future holds for each of them.”

Students begin the National Merit process during their junior year by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test(PSAT/NMSQT). More than 1.6 million juniors in high schools across the country took the test this year. The test evaluates critical reading, math, and writing skills.

In the spring, National Merit will announce the winners of 7,500 Scholarships worth more than $31 million. Finalists will be announced in February with scholarship winners announced from March to June.

National Merit Semifinalists

East Hamilton Middle-High School
Benjamin Nelson

Ooltewah High School
Carter J. Smith

Signal Mountain Middle-High School
Friedrich “Max” Burk
David Cornea
Paolo P. Iacoponi
Jacob Little
Emily G. Perez
Jack Poss

Soddy-Daisy High School
Jacob R. DiChiacchio

STEM School Chattanooga
Noah W. Keef