Twenty Columbia high school students were announced Wednesday as semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

That’s two more National Merit semifinalists for the county than last year, according to previous Missourian reporting.

Ashland’s Southern Boone County High School had one semifinalist as well, bringing the total for Boone County to 21 semifinalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a not-for-profit organization established in 1955 to give scholarships for “students who show exceptional academic ability,” the organization’s press release said.

About 16,000 semifinalists were chosen nationally based on Preliminary SAT scores. To become National Merit finalists, the semifinalists must apply, post a high score on the SAT or ACT, write an essay and be endorsed by a school official. Scholarship winners will be announced next spring and summer.

Here are area finalists:

Battle High School

  • Caleb J. Foster.

Christian Fellowship School

  • Matthew M. DeSantis.

Columbia Independent School

  • Payton A. Bach.
  • Erin G. East.

Hickman High School

  • Fletcher S. Orr.
  • Isabel C. Trindade.
  • Tomas A. Wexler.
  • HyunJun Yoo.

Rock Bridge High School

  • William H. Cover.
  • Memphis M. Cutchlow.
  • Grace A. Dyer.
  • Jacob Galen Coberly.
  • James C. Glaser.
  • Mary K. Grossmann.
  • Chengrui Hou.
  • Amanda Y. Kurukulasuriya.
  • Karina K. Liu.
  • Audrey K. Mueller.
  • Crystal H. Odor.
  • Inessa E. Verbitsky.

Southern Boone County High School

Benjamin K. McKane.

  • Education reporter, fall 2019 Studying print and digital journalism Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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