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PIedmont High School senior, Jasper Zietlow.

PUSD is proud to announce Piedmont High School senior, Jasper Zietlow, is among the approximately 16,000 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists for 2023. These students will be considered for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28-million to be awarded this spring.

“I am delighted to be named a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist,” Zietlow said. “Learning has always been the greatest motivator for me and I look forward to continuing to grow academically and personally.”

“Congratulations to Jasper on this recognition for his outstanding work in the classroom,” added PUSD Interim Superintendent, Dr. Donald Evans. “Today’s 12th-graders have gone through a lot in their high school careers and we are proud to see our students continue to achieve despite the challenges brought by the pandemic.”

Over a million high school juniors were considered for the 68th National Merit Scholarship Program through their performance on the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test. To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

In addition to Zietlow being named a Semifinalist, eight Piedmont High School students were named National Merit Commended Students. More than two-thirds (about 34,000) of the approximately 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. PHS students named National Merit Scholarship Commended Students for 2023 are:

Alexander Aubrecht

Benjamin Kra-Caskey

Hamza Mahood

Evan Manolis

Quinn Reilly

Julia Shalev

Russell Tan

Chelsea Yi

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2023. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 950 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 180 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2023 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 368,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. Visit for more information.

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