Top scholars from Buford High School’s Class of 2022 were recognized at the monthly board of education meeting on Monday, Jan. 24. BHS principal Teresa Hagelthorn announced the semi-finalists and commended scholars for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a privately-funded nonprofit organization, the National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for high school seniors begun in 1955 to recognize elite student academic achievement, awarding scholarships annually to students selected for the highest honor of being named a finalist. 

Students first compete for college scholarships and recognition by qualifying with a high score on the PSAT during their junior year, with approximately 1.5 million qualifying entrants annually. The highest scorers across the nation are then categorized as a commended scholar, semi-finalist or finalist. 

Each year, there are approximately 50,000 commended scholars and about 16,000 semi-finalists, making up the top 3% and 1% of students in the nation, respectively.

The top 3% are named National Merit Commended Scholars in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement. For the BHS Class of 2022, those students are Juan Borrego, Marco Borrego and Will Harkness.

Those scoring in the top 1% of all students nationwide are named National Merit Semi-finalists. 

“These students complete a rigorous application in hopes of being named finalists with the possibility of earning a National Merit Scholarship,” BHS assistant principal Dr. Tim Harris said.

The National Merit Semi-finalists for BHS’s Class of 2022 are Paul Kwak, Jimmy Ragazino and An Tran.

Finalists will be announced in late February. Scholarship winners will be announced in April and awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the NMSC. Any BHS student selected as a finalist will be recognized at the Academic Awards Night and at the BHS commencement ceremony in May. 

Congratulations to the BHS commended scholars, and best of luck to the semi-finalists as they are considered for the next round of competition.

FEATURED PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are Ms. Teresa Hagelthorn, principal of Buford High School, National Merit Commended Scholars Will Harkness, Juan Borrego and Marco Borrego, National Merit Semifinalists Paul Kwak, An Tran and Jimmy Ragazino, and BHS teacher Ms. Lisa Cole. Photo courtesy of Buford City Schools. 

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