Three T.C. Williams Seniors Named 2016 National Merit Semifinalists

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Jillian Schiele, Laura Wilcox and Gareth Markel with Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley. Photo courtesy of ACPS.
Jillian Schiele, Laura Wilcox and Gareth Markel with Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley. Photo courtesy of ACPS.

Jillian Schiele, Laura Wilcox and Gareth Markel are among 16,000 other semifinalists competing for one of the more than 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered this spring.

“We want to congratulate our students on becoming semifinalists. We know the sacrifices they make to achieve this kind of success. The ability to balance academic success with participation in extra-curricular activities is remarkable,” said T.C. Williams Principal Jesse Dingle.

The three have already set high goals for college. Wilcox plans to apply for early decision to Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania; Schiele hopes to attend Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music while Mankel wants to attend West Point Military Academy in New York.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has also recognized eight other seniors, from T.C. Williams for their outstanding achievement. Erin Boyle, Celeste Claudio, Claire Costello, Frederick Delawie, Shanna Gerlach, Anders Jacobson, Elizabeth Tibebu and Amanda Wilcox were also recognized for their achievements.

“This is a notable achievement by our students and we want to acknowledge their success as we focus on becoming a high performing school division. We know that every student can succeed at T.C. Williams,” said Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley.

More than 1.5 million students, from more than 22,000 high schools across the country, entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship qualifying tests. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) uses the PSAT/NMSQT selection index scores to determine 50,000 high-scoring participants who qualify for program recognition.  Semifinalists are the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by their high school’s principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. Additionally, the semifinalist and a school official submit a detailed scholarship application including a student essay and their participation and leadership in school and community activities.

Finalists will be notified in February.