Nine Named National Merit Semi-Finalists

Nine Des Moines high school seniors have been chosen as Semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship competition, placing them among the top young scholars in the state and nation. The Des Moines students were selected based on their strong performance on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) test taken earlier this year.

“Des Moines Public Schools is home to many brilliant and talented students, and these nine seniors are terrific examples,” said Tom Ahart, superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools. “From great teachers to great educational offerings, the opportunities available in Des Moines are helping these and every student prepare for their next step in education and beyond.”

The students and their home high schools are: 

  • Jillian Brown, Roosevelt
  • Daniel Comito, Roosevelt
  • Ashley De Haan, East
  • Karina Foster-Middleton, Roosevelt
  • Crystal Hou, Roosevelt
  • Nathan Leys, Roosevelt
  • James “Luke” Sheeley, Roosevelt
  • John Shumway, Roosevelt
  • Seth Van Helten, East

The students also take classes at Central Academy.

Semifinalists are now eligible to receive college scholarships of at least $2,500 from the National Merit Scholarship organization or their corporate sponsors. Scholarship recipients will be announced next April. Of the 1.5 million students who take the PSAT, only about 16,000 enter the Semifinalist level of the competition and approximately 15,000 are recognized as Finalists.

In the 40+ year history of the National Merit Scholarship Program, more than 450 Semi-Finalists have attended Des Moines Public Schools.

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