Central celebrates 25 National Merit Scholars


Hinsdale Central announced 25 National Merit semi-finalists this year. These were selected from more than 1.5 million juniors who took the qualifying exam. In total, the semi-finalists represent about one percent of America’s seniors. This year, Central has the highest number of National Merit Scholars in the school’s previous 10 years.

Principal Michael McGrory explained the qualifying process behind the National Merit Scholar program. “It’s not one set score on the PSAT that determines if you become a semi-finalist. The score changes based on how well students do overall,” McGrory said.

There are many benefits for students who are semi-finalists. “Being a National Merit Scholar opens the door to a lot of colleges and scholarships,” McGrory said. “Colleges will look at the fact that a student is a National Merit Scholar and sometimes offer them a full ride.”

“As a principal, I’m very proud. It’s a great recognition of the school,” McGrory said. “We have so many high achieving kids here. This sends a strong message that we value academics, and not just athletics and art.”

Central celebrated these students with a ceremony in the Community Room on Sept. 15. “We had the students tell everyone about themselves, introduce their families, and provide advice for future freshmen,”  McGrory said.

This year’s National Merit semi-finalists are: Jaya Agnihotri, Similolu Akintorin, Luke Chen, Meredith Christian, Robert Chun, Andrea Cladek, Gourisree Dharmavaram, Audrey Glaser, Ravi Gupta, Linda Jiang, Sneha Kasuganti, Rebecca Lewis, Nupur Maheshwari, Aakaash Meduri, Alexius Nevling, Theodore Owens, Arjun Reddy, Robert Scales, Joseph Shayani, Riley Strumillo, Claire Walker, Anna Walsh, Sichun Yang, Andy Zhou and Lydia Zoells.