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Seven Harpeth Hall seniors earn National Merit Semifinalist distinction

Seven members of Harpeth Hall’s Class of 2023 earned the distinct honor of being named semifinalists in the 68th 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.

"I cannot stress enough the impact that my Harpeth Hall teachers have had on me," said National Merit Semifinalist Ava Cassidy, who hopes to pursue degrees in biology and film in college. To her, the National Merit Scholarships is "a testament to the skill and true care that Harpeth Hall teachers have for their students."

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. 

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. 

While Harpeth Hall’s National Merit honorees focus on their senior year, they are also thinking about their futures. More than 7,500 National Merit scholarships worth more than $30 million will be awarded next spring.

"I was excited to receive news that I was named a National Merit semifinalist. It felt very rewarding to be recognized for my scholastic achievement on a national scale," National Merit semifinalist Caroline Seehorn said.

"In college, I hope to study biomedical engineering, and I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with my degree post graduation, but I definitely am interested in pursuing research both in and out of college. I believe that this award can help propel me on that path by demonstrating my ability to work well under pressure and serve as a leader within the classroom."

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. 

"It is a huge honor to be recognized on this scale, and all the support and encouragement from the school has been amazing," semifinalist Annie Linley said. "This award has helped me see that the work I put in now will pay off no matter what I decide to do."

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. 

"There is so much I love about Harpeth Hall," Caroline said. "From the incredible faculty to my engaging peers to the wealth of academic and extracurricular opportunities offered, there really is nowhere else I would have rather spent the last seven years"

Congratulations to Harpeth Hall’s
National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists

Natalie Apodaca

Virginia Callen

Ava Cassidy

Annie Linley

Maddie Meyer

Mary Roper

Caroline Seehorn