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Five Harpeth Hall seniors earn National Merit Semifinalist distinction

Five Harpeth Hall seniors earn National Merit Semifinalist distinction
Five Harpeth Hall seniors earn National Merit Semifinalist distinction

Five members of Harpeth Hall’s Class of 2024 earned the distinct honor of being named semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship program.

The Harpeth Hall seniors are among 16,000 semifinalists from across the country. The girls credit the achievement to the high-quality education, guidance, and support they received in their years at Harpeth Hall.

“My teachers at Harpeth Hall have been pivotal to my time here, as their mentorship has enabled me to grow both in and outside of the classroom,” National Merit Semifinalist Davern Cigarran said. “My teachers both challenge me to think critically about the topics we are covering and support me in my academic growth.”

The road to National Merit semifinalist recognition begins during a student’s junior year when she takes the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The exam measures a student’s critical reading ability, mathematical problem-solving skills, and writing ability.

To advance as a National Merit finalist and be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record and receive recommendation letters from school officials. They must also submit a scholarship application that highlights academic record, participation in school and community activities, and demonstrated leadership abilities.

"Being a National Merit Semifinalist is an honor, and I know that the support from my community has been essential to this achievement,” said Davern, who, in true Honeybear spirit, is a leader outside of the classroom as well. She is co-founder of Harpeth Hall’s Polar Bear hockey team, a student ambassador, and a member of the Mock Trial team.

The highest-scoring program entrants in each state are selected as National Merit semifinalists. Harpeth Hall’s honorees are in the top 1% of high school seniors across the country.

“It's a great honor to be chosen as a National Merit Semifinalist, and I hope that this opportunity will open doors for me in the future,” senior Julia Miller said.  “My teachers have always created such an encouraging environment, and I've always felt like I could achieve my goals with their help.”

In addition to the National Merit Semifinalists, Harpeth Hall also celebrates eight commended students in the National Merit Scholarship program: Sarah Braam, Courtney Couden, Macon Fowler, Kate Franklin, Elizabeth John, Amelia Kremer, Brenna Paisley, and Shreya Priyadarshi and two National recognition recipients Lilly Caldwell, who received the National Hispanic Recognition Award, and Corlin Jones, who received the National African American Recognition Award.

"Being named a commended scholar is a testament to the effort and dedication I have invested in my schoolwork. It is an achievement that recognizes not only my hard work, but also my ability to translate it into success on standardized tests," commended scholar, Sherya Priyadarshi said. "This recognition inspires me to continue pushing myself to reach even greater heights."

Each of the students honored by the National Merit Scholarship Program represents the tradition of academic excellence at Harpeth Hall, where students learn to think critically, lead confidently, and live honorably. 

"It definitely feels great knowing that all of my efforts are paying off in a real way," commended scholar Kate Franklin said. "It's also so much fun seeing who else is a part of the list because I have known how smart these girls have been throughout middle and high school, and it's great to see them recognized for their skill too."

Congratulations to Harpeth Hall’s National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists

Madeline Bell
Madison Chung
Davern Cigarran
Natalie DiMaria
Julia Miller

Congratulations to Harpeth Hall’s National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Scholars

Sarah Braam
Courtney Couden
Macon Fowler
Kate Franklin
Elizabeth John
Amelia Kremer
Brenna Paisley
Shreya Priyadarshi

Congratulations to Harpeth Hall’s National Recognition recipients

Lilly Caldwell - National Hispanic Recognition Award
Corlin Jones - National African American Recognition Award