Grace Christian Academy announced this week that two members of the school’s Class of 2021 were named semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Anna Cella and Luke Gill were recognized as semifinalists Sept. 9 by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Of the 1.5 million entrants representing 21,000 high schools in this academic competition, Cella and Gill are among approximately 16,000 students nationwide to achieve this honor. They are now qualified to compete for a share of 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, collectively worth more than $30 million, and advance to finalist standing.
As a semifinalist, Cella and Gill are considered two of the highest scoring entrants from Tennessee on the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
"It is a wonderful thing when intellect, diligence and the grace of God intersect in the life of a student and of a school,” said GCA High School Principal Richard B. Anderson. “To that end, Grace Christian Academy gratefully acknowledges the recognition of both Anna Cella and Luke Gill as National Merit semifinalists.
“This is a milestone moment for these two students, for their families, and for our entire school community. We celebrate these two fine young people and give God the glory for their achievements.”
Of the nationwide pool of semifinalists, 15,000 students are expected to advance to finalist standing, representing less than 1% of US high school seniors to achieve this rank. Attaining finalist standing in the competition requires meeting high academic standards and fulfilling a number of rigorous prerequisites.
These designees are selected on the basis of their accomplishments, including, but not limited to, involvement in community activities, proven leadership skills, and potential for college success. Finalists will be selected for three types of National Merit Scholarships, thereby earning the Merit Scholar title. The Merit Scholars will be announced beginning next spring.
Grace Christian Academy also applauds Joe Hauk, Josh Hilner and Grant Solomon for their achievement of being named National Merit Commended students. To receive this status, Hauk, Hilner and Solomon were among the top 3-4% of scorers on the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, and have been recognized with this honor for their outstanding academic success.