Mason High School marked a record number of National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.
With 20 high scorers, Mason ranked second in the region only to Walnut Hills, which had 22 semifinalists.
Mars Hill Academy in Mason boasted three semifinalists, while Kings had two.
They are among 16,000 students named in the organization’s 58th annual competition, which recognizes each state’s top students.
“We’re extremely proud of our Mason High School National Merit semifinalists,” said Mason Principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart. “These students are gymnasts, tennis players, marching band members, football players, violinists, Science Olympiad winners and speech and debaters – and they’ve made numerous sacrifices along the way to get to this point.”
The semifinalists – who represent less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors – are now in competition for 83,000 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring to finalists.
Southwest Ohio had 177 semifinalists this year, along with 21 from Northern Kentucky and one from Southeast Indiana.
The semifinalists were among 1.5 million juniors from 22,000 high schools who entered the competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. About 90 percent are expected to advance to finalists.
Finalists have the chance to compete for scholarships between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study. National Merit does not release the exact amount of individual scholarships.
Alyssa Carvalho, John Deaton, Armaan Hasan, Mary Hennekes, Jeffery Huang, Weizhen Huang, Shakib Islam, Abhijit Kesbhat, Kevin Liao, Li-Shiuan Lin, Abhishek Ravinuthala, Naina Singh, Kelly Snider, Ana Sucaldito, Samuel Whipple, Amy Yang, Tina Zhang, Will Zhang, Andrew Zheng and Benjamin Zumkehr
Kayla Echols and Alex Paulson
Mars Hill Academy semifinalists:
Joseph Boone, Mary Hennekes and Amanda White