Eleven DMPS Students Named National Merit Semi-Finalists

Eleven high school seniors in Des Moines have been chosen as 2014 Semi-Finalists for the National Merit Scholarship, placing them among the top young scholars in the state and nation. The Des Moines students were selected based on their strong performance on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) test taken last year.

Des Moines Public Schools is proud to announce that the following students have been designated National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists:

  • Edel Aron – Roosevelt High School
  • Granger Carty – Roosevelt High School
  • Patrick Hiatt – Roosevelt High School
  • Austin Lin – Roosevelt High School
  • Lillian Nellans – Roosevelt High School
  • Lydia Phillips – Roosevelt High School
  • Maxwell Pilcher – Roosevelt High School
  • Cianna Rothwell – Roosevelt High School
  • Ryan Utke – Hoover High School
  • Quinn Veasman – Roosevelt High School
  • Reid Wade – Roosevelt High School

Each of the above students also attends classes at Central Academy.

In addition, Daphne Gates, a senior at Van Meter High School who takes courses at Central Academy, was also named a National Merit Semi-Finalist.

It was announced last week that two of the students listed above – Edel Aron and Max Pilcher – earned a perfect composite score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam.

“The intelligence and talent of our students in Des Moines never ceases to amaze me,” said Tom Ahart, superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools. “From having terrific teachers to a wide array of educational offerings, our students benefit from great opportunities as they prepare for their future.”

Today officials at the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semi-Finalists in the 59th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 million that will be offered next spring. 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.

Over the past 40 years, more than 450 National Merit Semi-Finalists have attended Des Moines Public Schools.