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E hoʻomaikaʻi to these 15 KS haumāna for earning national academic recognition by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a testament to their hard work and perseverance and to the support they receive from their kumu and ‘ohana.

Haumāna garner national academic recognition

Oct. 15, 2020

Contributed by 'Alohi Bikle

Fifteen Kamehameha Schools seniors were recognized by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation for their academic achievements. Six of the students were designated as National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists and seven as commended scholars. Two additional students were named College Board National Recognition scholars. Of the total, 12 of the students attend KS Kapālama and three attend KS Hawaiʻi.

E hoʻomaikaʻi to the following haumāna:

National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists:
Xander Calicadan (KS Hawai‘i); and Parker Chang, Cade Kane, Mahina Kaʻomea, Reece Kishimori and Nainoa Watanabe (KS Kapalāma).

National Merit commended scholars:
Karl K. Hanson and Sophia Perry (KS Hawai‘i); and Pallas Andrew Beddow, William Ho, Makoa Inciong, ʻOnipaʻa Pung and David Visperas (KS Kapālama).

College Board National Recognition Program awardees:
Randall Ching, Makoa Inciong, Mahina Ka‘omea, Xavier Lever, David Visperas, and Nainoa Watanabe (KS Kapālama)

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test —which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

This year, more than 1.5 million juniors from about 21,000 high schools entered the National Merit program with about 16,000 being named semifinalists. Hawaiʻi tallied a total of 65 students from 17 high schools to the semifinal list. About 15,000 students will be named finalists in February, half of whom are notified in late spring that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship award.

The College Board National Recognition Programs create pathways to college for students from underrepresented communities by awarding them academic honors and connecting them with universities across the country.

Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT who are African American, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous, or attend school in a rural area or small town may be invited to apply for the academic recognition.

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