29 Chattanooga-area students named semifinalists in 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program

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Sep. 17—Twenty-nine students attending schools in the Chattanooga area qualified as semifinalists for the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The students are among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide who qualified based on their scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

The semifinalists represent public and private schools in the region, including five Hamilton County public schools, one school in Bradley County and four private schools in Chattanooga.

"At Baylor, we are fortunate to be able to celebrate the many accomplishments of our students in all aspects of their educational journey," said Baylor School Head of School Chris Angel in a statement on the school's website. "Today, I am beyond proud to honor our nine National Merit Semifinalists for such a prestigious accomplishment! Go Big Red!"

This year, McCallie and Baylor School had the greatest number of area students named as semifinalists at nine students each.

"These young men continue the long tradition at McCallie of producing exceptional scholars and leaders," said McCallie School Head of School Lee Burns in a Wednesday news release. "They represent the breadth and depth of McCallie students, coming from both our boarding and day programs, with differing academic and extracurricular interests. We are proud of them."

The semifinalists are:


Baylor School

— Rowe A. Cooper

— Owen M. Eastman

— Madeleine E. Kim

— Trey D. McDonald

— Nicholas J. McKenney

— Caleb R. Nunes

— Sanjit Pamidi

— John W. Smith

— Tina Zheng

Chattanooga Christian School

— Daegan M. Brown

Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences

— Vaidehi Rathod

Hamilton County Collegiate High School at Chattanooga State

— Vivian Song

Girls Preparatory School

— Lauren E. Thacker

McCallie School

— Ian J. Campbell

— Boris M. Khoretonenko

— Levi M. Lebovitz

— Rahul C. Patel

— Jackson P. Scarbrough

— Vihaal R. Vellanki

— Matthew W. Yap

— Qijun Zhang

— Zhengyu Zou

STEM School Chattanooga

— Jacob A. Griffeth


Cleveland High School

— Rishi Soni


East Hamilton High School

— Laasya Challa

— Ashley S. Paik


Signal Mountain High School

— William R. Marsden

— William C. Mastin

— Laughton M. Miller

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. will announce finalists for the program in February, and about half of those students will win scholarships in one of three categories: National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.

There were no semifinalists from the Alabama or Georgia counties in the Chattanooga region.

For the 2021 program, 26 area students qualified as semifinalists and 10 were awarded college-sponsored scholarships.

Contact Anika Chaturvedi at achaturvedi@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.

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