Principal Raft Introduces Saline's 10 National Merit Semifinalists to Board of Education

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 10/24/2019 - 01:58

Saline High School Principal David Raft presented 10 Saline Area Schools students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as semifinalists in the yearly National Merit Scholarship Competition.

The students' names are Maxwell Bauer, Holden Collins, Nicole Dillmann, Aeolian Lao, Albert Liu, William Minnette, Grace Prisby, Ian Spitael, Christopher Van Dyke, and Eileen Zong.

The students were chosen based on their reading, writing, language, and math test scores from their PSAT and NMSQT test scores, which were summed together and multiplied by two for a final score that was used to qualify the more than 16,000 students nationwide that will go on to compete in the next round of the competition to advance on as finalists.

Saline has traditionally had a strong showing in the National Merit Scholarship Competition, with all 10 semifinalists advancing to the next round as finalists earlier this year [link:]

"We have an outstanding representation from Saline High School," said Raft. "These students are well-rounded and have succeeded in many different aspects of their high school careers here at Saline."

Each student was given an opportunity to share what their future education beyond Saline High School holds for them right now:

Ian Spitael: Next year I'm hoping to get into the University of Michigan for some sort of engineering program there.

Maxwell Bauer: I'm hoping to attend Brown University in Rhode Island next year where I would like to study politics.

Aeolian Lao: I am currently undecided on about my future plans.

William Minnette: I hope to get into University of Michigan next year and student chemistry and bio-chemistry.

Holden Collins: I hope to study engineering next year.

Eilleen Zong: Hopefully I will be studying international relations at Georgetown University next year.

Christopher Van Dyke: I hope to study engineering at the University of Michigan.

Grace Prisby: I plan to study neuroscience next year.

Nicole Dillman: I plan to study engineering next year.

Students are chosen per state based on a percentage of the national total of graduating high school students that each state represents based and each individual school's semi-finalists are chosen based on the number of students who took the PSAT and NMSQT tests.

These 10 students qualified themselves for consideration when they took the aforementioned tests a year ago last week, Raft said.

Sean Dalton's picture
Sean Dalton
Sean Dalton is a veteran of the Washtenaw County journalism scene. He co-founded and and also worked for Heritage Newspapers.