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Thirty CCSD students recognized as 2021 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

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Six scouts from Troop 20 achieved Eagle rank in July. Pictured at the outdoor ceremony (from left) are Carson Davis, Emerson Garris, Dylan Googer, J.H. Leigh, Caelan Paquette and Widman Woodhull.

Charleston County School District is proud to announce 30 students have been honored as semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program; the National Merit Scholarship Corporation released the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists earlier this week.

Congratulations to the following CCSD 2021 Semifinalists:

Academic Magnet

  • Justin D. Baek
  • Lillian S. Bluestein
  • Connor A. Burrill
  • Owen C. Chapman
  • Lydia R. Cox
  • Brendan Elliott
  • Landon C. Ethredge
  • Adam S. Frye
  • Adam J. Gatch
  • Kyle L. Jonsson
  • Lily A. Lassiter
  • Simon Y. Li
  • Benjamin M. Lipschutz
  • Ruth M. Liu
  • Charles R. Medlock
  • Shreyas H. Mytri
  • Ethan A. Ouellette
  • Karoline Surdyk
  • Molly C. Tippey
  • Arthur M. Unger
  • Sophia L. White
  • Benjamin R. Whitley
  • Porter D. Zach


  • Cameron J. Boni
  • Claire P. Gaddy
  • Montana M. Lussier
  • Hrishikesh M. Namboodiri
  • Bo P. Suthon
  • Adam M. Swanson
  • Audrey C. Wessinger

Academic Magnet High School has the most semifinalists (23) in the state; this is the fourth consecutive year the Raptors have had 20 or more.

“These 23 remarkable Academic Magnet Class of 2021 students have upheld our tradition of the strongest of showings for National Merit Semifinalists in our county and state,” said Academic Magnet Principal Catherine Spencer. “Once again exceeding all other private and public schools in SC in number, these National Merit Semifinalists have unique gifts and talents which promise the brightest future for them and a positive impact on our world.”

These high school seniors will continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth a total of about $30 million that will be offered next spring.

“We are so proud and excited that these Wando students have been named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists,” stated Wando Principal Sherry Eppelsheimer. “Their hard work, dedication, and determination show their continuous journey to achievement through academic excellence.”

More than 1.5 million juniors from about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes 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.

2021 National Merit Scholarship finalists will be contacted by NMSC in February and winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 353,000 other distinguished young people who have the title of Merit Scholar.

For more information, contact the Office of Strategy and Communication at 843-937-6303.

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