West High boasts 7 National Merit Semifinalists

Susan EspirituWest Knoxville

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition that recognizes and rewards high-achieving high school students, based on their performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and those who advance through the various stages of the program are identified as The National Merit Finalists.

Ashley Speas, executive principal of West High School, announced seven students have been chosen as 2024 National Merit Semifinalists from the school.

Bryden Asti, Cooper Etheridge, Charles Burke, Cooper Ward, Hunter Dance, Duncan Gilpatric and Lucia McNulty will now submit additional information, such as their academic records, extracurricular activities, leadership positions and essays, in their quest to become finalists. Lucia McNutty chose to graduate and begin college at the end of her junior year but will still apply to be a finalist.

Regardless of the outcome, being named a semifinalist is a significant achievement and opens up opportunities for scholarships and recognition at the college level.

Speas says, “We are so excited. This is the most we have had in many years! Super impressive!”

Guidance counselor Sarah Blast shared how excited the school is to have this incredible number of semifinalists when there has not been more than two since 2018.

We’ll continue to follow these young leaders.

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