Buchanan and Hagewood Named Natl. Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

By Kris Freeman for White House High School

EVANSTON, IL – Two White House High School seniors were awarded the prestigious honor of qualifying as a semifinalist for the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Mathias Hagewood and Anna Buchanan are members of the Class of 2021 at WHHS, and set to graduate among the top of their peers in May. The honor comes at an even greater distinction for the two Blue Devils, who are the first students at the school to earn the honor in at least a decade.

“We are tremendously proud for these two students,” said Anne Curtis, guidance counselor at White House High School. “This is my eighth year at the school and the first time since I have been here that we have had the privilege of awarding even one – and now two – students with this honor.”

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation was established in 1955, and awarded 16,000 semifinalists nationwide this fall. The group will compete for as many as 7,600 scholarships worth collectively over $30 million. Over 90 percent of the semifinalists will qualify to achieve finalist standing, and more than half the finalists will earn a scholarship.

The initial qualifier were the students’ 2019 Preliminary SAT and NMSQT scores.

“We are extremely proud of this senior class and entire student body at White House High,” said principal Ann Miller. “Mathias and Anna represent many of the incredible young people we are privileged to walk the halls with every single day, and their dedication to academics and their school s shown in the recognition this brings to them as students, their family and our school.”

The two will complete the application process to be a finalist by October 7, 2020. The national winners are selected and announced from April-July, 2021. Over 335,000 students have been awarded national merit scholarships in 66 years.

“This is a tremendous credit to the students and to their teachers,” said Sheldon Zazzaro, who serves as the individual guidance counselor for both students. “The classroom preparation by their educators is really what makes this possible and we are so excited for both of our students and to see what he future holds for them.”

The NMSC is a not-for-profit organization operating without government assistance, and established in 1955, with funds provided by over 400 business organizations and higher education institutions.

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