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National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist and Commended Students Named

Photos of the four national merit scholarship seminfinalistsThe National Merit Scholarship Corporation named four Pine-Richland High School seniors as 2023 National Merit Scholarship Corporation semifinalists:

(Shown clockwise from top left)

  • Luke Kastner
  • Jacob Lukez
  • Benjamin Rishel
  • Andrew Salvadore

These accomplished students are among 16,000 students nationwide named semifinalists. Approximately 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship. 

In addition, sixteen Pine-Richland High School seniors were named Commended:

  • Matthew Andersen
  • Joseph D. DeRenzo
  • Jack Duckworth
  • Jack J. Exline
  • Adam Kirsch
  • Avinash Kottakota
  • Nolan Martin
  • Sreyashi Mondal
  • Anjaly Palathunkal
  • Javin Parker
  • Elaine Qian
  • Elizabeth Shaffer
  • Benjamin Tamburri
  • John Varghese
  • Alexander Vasile
  • Colin Zvejnieks

Not pictured: Alexander Vasile


About 34,000 Commended students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2023 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2023 competition by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

These students are recognized for their outstanding work on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation cosponsor this standardized test, which is often administered during a student’s sophomore year and sometimes during a student’s freshman or junior year.  Approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT each year.