Thirty Louisiana high school seniors earn National Merit scholarships; see area honorees

Thirty Louisiana high school seniors earn National Merit scholarships; see area honorees

High school seniors from the New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas captured 25 of the 30 Louisiana scholarships announced Wednesday, the second group of winners in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Their scholarships are $2,500 each. The newest group joins nine Louisiana scholarship winners announced in April. More winners are being announced June 6 and July 16. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,500 students nationwide will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million.

Three Baton Rouge high schools are leading the way statewide with four National Merit scholarship recipients over the first two rounds: Baton Rouge Magnet, Catholic and Episcopal high schools.

Here are the 11 New Orleans metro area winners, including three from the North Shore: David B. Gravolet of Belle Chasse, Jesuit High; Isabella Summersgill of Bush, Archbishop Hannan High; Emmett L. McComiskey of Covington, Christ Episcopal School; Nameera N. Islam of Kenner, Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies; Jacob A. LeBlanc of Lafitte, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy; Avery C. Erwin of Mandeville, Fontainbleau High; Samuel Reese Koppel of Metairie, Metairie Park Country Day School; Jake Thomas Theriot of Metairie, Jesuit High; Kaitlyn G. Calabresi of New Orleans, Ben Franklin High; Chelsea Deitelzweig of New Orleans, Ben Franklin High; and Bryce J. Monier of River Ridge, St. Martin’s Episcopal School.

Here are the 10 Baton Rouge winners: Shannon L. Ahmad, Episcopal High; Ryan D. Aultman, Catholic High; Parvathy Balamurugan, Baton Rouge Magnet High; Priya Balamurugan, Baton Rouge Magnet High; Erina M. Buchholz, Baton Rouge Magnet High; Anne M. Furr, LSU Lab School; Stephen M. Gaudin, Catholic High; Kaylen M. Howe, Runnels High; Ishwari G. Joshi, Baton Rouge Magnet High; and Rachel P. Posner, Episcopal High. Nine are residents of Baton Rouge; Ahmad lives in Sunshine in Iberville Parish.

The five Acadiana winners are Alix C. Basden, Lafayette High; Mark Dibbs, Episcopal School of Acadiana, Story L. Frantzen, Episcopal School of Acadiana; Ruby A. Kharod, Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts; and David F. Vizzi, St. Thomas More Catholic High. All but Kharod are from Lafayette. Kharod is from Opelousas.

National Merit scholarship winners this year were drawn from a pool of 16,000 semifinalists and 15,000 finalists. They were among more than 1.6 million juniors who took the PSAT standardized test in October 2016.

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