ACPS students break record for scholarship program  

Alachua County Public School District Office sign
Photo by Seth Johnson

Alachua County Public School (ACPS) broke its record for the most semifinalists named to the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation released the list of 2023 semifinalists, which includes 45 ACPS students — breaking the previous record of 40 set in 2009. Last year, 39 students earned semifinalist recognition.  

“We’re very proud that so many of our students have been recognized this year,” Superintendent Shane Andrew said in a press release. “It’s a tribute to their hard work, commitment to academic achievement, and support from their teachers and families.”  

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Semifinalist status recognizes solid academic talent and represents less than 1% of high school seniors in the nation. To qualify, students must earn among the nation’s highest scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). 

Students must submit applications highlighting their other academic achievements, awards and honors earned, leadership activities, recommendation letters, and essays to be considered for finalist status. 

Finalists will be named in early spring of 2023. If selected, finalists are eligible for thousands of dollars in scholarships.  

In 2021, 39 students  

The ACPS semifinalists are:    

Buchholz High School: Himal Bamzai-Wokhlu, Avery Bernstein, Hannah Ciupe, Samuel Cohen, Nicholas Dang, Rishi Gadikota, Angela Gao, Tyler Holland, Nia Jobson, Ahan Mishra, Andrey Nikitin, Aditya Vardhan Pasumarti, Abhinav Pothuri, Nicole Qian, McKayla Ro, Maximilian Schentrup, Tucker Shea, Anwyn Tanner, Isabelle Tseng, Zachary Urbine, Sophia Vernon, Zach Xiao, William Xu, Carolynn Zhao, Jonathan Zheng, Kevin Zheng. 

Eastside High School: Maryanne Armstrong, Rebekah George, Jakob Gorham, Claire Kuntz, Elizabeth Matthias, Linda Mentz, Maya O’Dell, Hirbod Sargeran, Maui Schwartz, Maggie Yan, Benjamin Zou. 

Gainesville High School: Harold Bishop, Jacob Calloway, Cormac Davis, Michelle Han, Nicholas Hirsch, Siya Patel, Jake Qiu, Charles Ye. 

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