It was announced earlier this week that 27 seniors from the Shawnee Mission School District, nine from East, were named Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program, one of highest academic honors students can earn. The 27 seniors make up for 20% of all Finalists in Kansas. For 2011 there are about 15,000 Finalists nationwide.
The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for scholarships and academic awards that was founded in 1955. To participate in the program students have to take the PSAT no later than Junior year, be enrolled in high school and on track towards graduation and have intent to enroll full time in college along with an endorsement from their school principal. National Merit Finalists nationwide will be awarded more than $36 million in Corporate-sponsored merit scholarships, College-sponsored merit scholarships and grants.
Finalists hailing from Shawnee Mission East include Peter Bautz, Anna Bernard, Spencer Brown, Susan McClannahan, Kevin Simpson, Lauren Stanley, Gail Stonebarger, Emily Welter and Russell White. Others include Sean Holloway, Billie Lubis and Alexander Montgomery from Shawnee Mission North. Jordan Dillon, Emily Guerin, Jacob Lindenlaub, Jordan Perlmutter, Jens Thomsen, Aaron Thornburg and Thomas Verschelden from Shawnee Mission Northwest. Justin Foster, Paul Goodwin, Rachel Iba, Hope Jasperson, Julia Nelson, Dominique Webb and Victorie Wu of Shawnee Mission South and Mary Lipp from Shawnee Mission West.