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The Public Schools of the Tarrytowns Announce Semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit® Scholarship Program

The Public Schools of the Tarrytowns is proud to announce that three of its SHHS seniors, Kaitlyn Chen, Ryan Lyppens and Henry Poret have been named Semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Sebastian Zuba, who is homeschooled and resides in the district, was also named a Semifinalist. Nationwide, the pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and is based on scores achieved on the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

“Being recognized as a Semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program is an outstanding accomplishment and the result of years of hard work and focus,” said SHHS Principal Deborah Brand. “On behalf of the district, I extend our sincere congratulations.”

The Semifinalists enrolled in the Tarrytown Union Free School District have been there since kindergarten. They are all particularly interested in STEM subjects and, at the same time, have a passion for the arts and sports. Kaitlyn Chen enjoys photography and has been playing the violin since she was very young. She is part of a quartet with fellow recipient, Henry Poret. Ryan Lyppens also participates in the school band in addition to playing soccer and running winter and spring track. He is considering the pursuit of athletics in college. Henry Poret, who plays the string bass, also speaks to how music has been an enormous part of his life.

Semifinalists will have an opportunity to compete for approximately 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), about 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. 

 

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Additional Information from NMSC:

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist's academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® or ACT® scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test. 

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. 

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC's goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.