Class of 2016 Has 43 National Merit Semifinalists, Eight National Hispanic Scholars

Posted September 15, 2015 / Last updated September 24, 2015

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22 Additional Blue Jays Are Recognized as “Commended” in the National Merit Competition

The Class of 2016 has the largest number of National Merit Semifinalists in 13 years at Jesuit.

The Class of 2016 has the largest number of National Merit Semifinalists in the past 13 years at Jesuit.

Jesuit High School’s 43 National Merit Semifinalists and eight National Hispanic Scholars in the Class of 2016 will be recognized in front of the entire student body at a Morning Assembly in the near future.

The 43 National Merit Scholars in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program are the most from any one school in Louisiana and represent 20% of the state’s 212 honorees from 52 different high schools. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to that state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. This marks the 61st year of the scholarship program, which today recognizes some 16,000 semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.

Jesuit’s Class of 2016 has the largest number of semifinalists since the Class of 2004 produced 54. In the 13-year period, beginning with the Class of 2004 through the Class of 2016, Jesuit has produced a total of 456 National Merit Semifinalists. In that same period, Jesuit also has 243 Commended Students, which includes the 22 Blue Jays in the Class of 2016.

This year’s semifinalists from Jesuit posted scores ranging from 211 to 234 on the PSAT/NMSQT®, which is used as the initial screen in the annual competition underwritten by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Scores of those seniors who are Commended Students ranged from 202-210.

Important Announcement Regarding the National Achievement Scholarship Program

On Sept. 17, the NMSC and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) issued a press release announcing the discontinuation of the National Achievement Scholarship Program for academically talented Black American high school students. The press release stated that the final group of National Achievement Scholars graduated from high school in the Class of 2015. A new program — The UNCF Achievement Capstone Program — is set to launch in spring 2016 and “will honor and grant financial assistance to high-achieving, underrepresented college graduates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) in the United States.” The new program will be administered by UNCF and underwritten by the NMSC with funds from the discontinued Achievement program.

Jesuit’s records going back some 27 years show that 43 Blue Jays have been honored as National Achievement Semifinalists.

Jesuit’s Eight National Hispanic Scholars

In the Class of 2016, eight seniors, six of whom are also National Merit Semifinalists, are honored as National Hispanic Scholars: Carlo A. Carino, Maurice A. Carr, José M. Cusco IV, Nicholas P. Fresneda, Alex M. Gomez, Joshua S. Lacoste, Cameron P. McCall, and Steven L. Sellers. The College Board underwrites the National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Program.

Jesuit’s 43 National Merit Semifinalists

An * next to the names of the National Merit Semifinalists indicates that the senior is also a National Hispanic Scholar. The National Merit Semifinalists in Jesuit’s Class of 2016 are:

Bottom row (from left): Cade M. Arbour, Maurice A. Carr*, Aubrey A. Champlin, Benjamin C. Creel, Anton J. Derbes, Reid A. Detillier, Andrew D. Dyer;

Second row: Nicholas P. Fresneda*, Phillip A. Gerarve, Benjamin M. Gillen, Charles E. Glass, Alex M. Gomez*, Reginald T. Jackson II;

Third row: John R. James, Cameron F. Kaupp, Tristan C. Killgore, Kenneth E. Krizan III, Joshua S. Lacoste*, Adam C. Ledet;

Fourth row: Spencer G. Lemoine, Connor J. Maheu, Mayank Mardia, Mason T. Mayfield, Cameron P. McCall*, Chance M. Melancon;

Fifth row: Matthew J. Miceli, John A. Mieras, Harrison H. Millar, Brian M. Piglia, Jr., Kyler T. Pisciotta, Seth M. Pohlman;

Sixth row: Felix M. Rabito, Zachary W. Robbins, Jeremy W. Scheffler, Steven L. Sellers*, Evan J. Slattery, Brady R. Stiller;

Back row: James A.J. Stoner, Arjun Verma, Edward T. Welsch, Joshua J.L. West, Brandon M. Wolff, and Logan K. Yokum.

Commended Students in the National Merit Competition

Additionally, the names of 22 seniors who are Commended in the National Merit Scholarship competition were released on Monday (Sept. 21). According to the NMSC, more than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT® receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Students are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score that may vary from year to year and is typically below the level required for participants to be named Semifinalists in their respective states. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

The 22 Jesuit seniors who are Commended Students in the 2016 competition are: Christopher W.  Abadie, William P. Brewster, Carlo A. Carino (also a National Hispanic Scholar), Andrew J. Cerise, Jacob M. Doran, William M. Dowling, Jacob J. Dubos, Joseph P. Dupré, Chalon L. Fogarty, James A. Groos, William J. Hurley, Conrad A. Leonik, Chase A. Mascaro, Andrew M. Nguyen, John M. Nimmo, Jon T. Odell, Darren P. Ruiz, Patrick T. Rye, Sterling A. Stafford, Matthew S. Torres, Andrew T. Vuong, and Andrew J. Westholz.

The faculty, administration, and staff of Jesuit High School congratulate the 43 National Merit Semifinalists, the 22 Commended Students, and the eight National Hispanic Scholars for their significant academic achievement.