Eleven West Students Named National Merit Semi-Finalists

A milestone has been made at Tosa West this month, as eleven seniors were announced to be semi-finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program. They were; Emma Bittner, Sabrina Black, Adam Carlson, Sam Frederick, Zaynab Hassan, Charles Koepp, Brendon Michael, Jacob Ng, Rachael Reis, Mark Salamone, and Alexsandra Zielonka.

Semifinalists Charles Koepp and Sam Frederick, both agreed that having eleven recipients was pretty impressive. “I can’t say that I’m super surprised, because we’ve always had a pretty bright grade,” says Koepp.

In order to become a semi-finalist, students take the PSAT as juniors, and score higher than a 208, or be in the 98th percentile out of all of Wisconsin.

Wauwatosa West High School has not had this many semi-finalists in a single class since 1975. “This attributes to a combination of things,” says guidance counselor Brian Hoffman, “This senior class has quite a few talented students, and there’s also no doubt that our pilot of the PSAT prep course definitely contributed to our success,”

The next step in the National Merit Scholarship Program, is that 15,000 out of the 16,000 semifinalists will become finalists, and 7,600 students will actually receive the scholarship.

As for the juniors planning on taking the PSAT in October, “Try your best, take it seriously, and have fun!” says Koepp and Frederick.

Writer: Freshman Maria Kuhn

Photographer: Senior Dani Ganser