Lemont High School sees record number of National Merit commended students


LEMONT – A record 16 Lemont High School seniors have been recognized as National Merit commended students thanks to their performance on the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to a school news release.

The honorees include Alexander Bacon, Ashley Belsan, Nathaniel Blanco, Beata Drozda, Adam Fugiel, Lily Goodman, Reece Graham, Natalie Hartl, Kara Kirkus, Anthony Kostrubala, Alexander Paulius, Lauren Pengiel, Saher Rashid, Arjun Reddigari, Joshua Reitz and Aaron Swenson.

Given to high school juniors, more than 1.6 million students took the PSAT/NMSQT in October 2016. About 16,000 students are named as National Merit Scholar semifinalists, and roughly 34,000 students are designated as commended students, the release stated.

Of those named as semifinalists, more than 90 percent attain finalist standing, and about half of those earn a National Merit scholarship and receive Merit Scholar accolades, according to the release.

The Lemont High School honorees' scores ranked them among the top 5 percent of all U.S. students from the class of 2018 who took the PSAT/NMSQT last year, the release stated.

The previous school record for National Merit honorees (National Merit Scholarship semifinalists or National Merit commended students) was five, which occurred in both 2013 and 2015, according to the release.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp., a nonprofit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955. Its scholarships are underwritten by its own funds and about 500 business organizations and higher education institutions that share its goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence, the release stated.