Three Waukee Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists

Three Waukee Community School District seniors have been dubbed National Merit Semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. 

We are celebrating:

  • Ava Hakala (Waukee Northwest High School)
  • Madhav Valiyaparambil (Waukee Northwest High School)
  • Isabella Webb (Waukee High School)

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“I think being a National Merit Semifinalist is a great opportunity to gain academic recognition and potentially get scholarships toward college if I become a National Merit Finalist and Scholar,” Ava Hakala says. “I’m looking forward to figuring out which college I will attend next year!” 

Becoming a National Merit Semifinalist validates the effort I’ve put into school and learning,” Madhav Valiyaparambil says. “I am looking forward to enjoying my final year at Northwest with my friends, while also preparing for my next chapter at college.”

“I am honored to be a National Merit Semifinalist, and I am so excited my hard work is paying off!” Isabella Webb says. “My goal for senior year is just to enjoy everything. My class schedule is full, and I have several AP classes, but they’re in areas I’m excited to study! I’m also looking forward to my biomedical research APEX next semester, as I’m hoping to pursue a career as a research scientist.”  

Our academically talented seniors are among the 16,000 students selected. The Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. The students now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for one of 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million.

To be considered for a scholarship, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to become a Finalist in the competition. About 95% of Semifinalists will gain Finalist standing, and another half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship. 

Congratulations to our students on this academic honor!