21 seniors from High Schools across Leander ISD have been recognized as Semifinalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The 2022-2023 National Merit Semifinalists from Leander ISD are:

Sahir Ahmed, Vandegrift High School
Arnav Batra, Cedar Park High School
Bryan Bui, Leander High School
Anamkia Chinnakonda, Vandegrift High School
Vivian Coleman, Cedar Park High School
Tanushree Duggirala, Rouse High School
Avery Galligher, Vandegrift High School
Shriya Ganesan, Vandegrift High School
Nihar Janga, Vandegrift High School
Karen Li, Vandegrift High School
Winson Lin, Cedar Park High School
Tierman Lindauer, Vista Ridge High School
Callie Luong, Vandegrift High School
Scott Marsh, Cedar Park High School
Neha Poreddy, Vandegrift High School
Avani Rayasa, Vandegrift High School
Anjana Reddy, Vandegrift High School
Amaan Syed, Vandegrift High School
Anthony Tang, Vandegrift High School
Alexander Thummalapalli, Cedar Park High School
Justin Zhao, Vandegrift High School

More than 1.5 million juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as the initial screening of program entrants. From this list comes the nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and 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.

“The Leander ISD Class of 2023 continues to persevere. This accomplishment is one of many ways in which our students continue to prove their academic potential. We applaud the excellent preparation and support our students receive from the many teachers who have worked with these students to empower their learning,” Director of Advanced Programs Shirley Bachus said. “The district is proud of the hard work and focus with which these students pursue academic achievement.”

Of the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist and their school must submit a detailed scholarship application, providing information about 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 their high school career, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn ACT® and SAT® scores that confirm the Semifinalist’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. 

Finalists will be announced in February, and all National Merit Scholarship winners for 2023 are selected from this group. Winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July 2023. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.