Great Hearts Students Recognized as National Merit Semifinalists

Great Hearts Academies November 16, 2017

Additionally, 24 students awarded Commended status

PHOENIX, Ariz.— November 20, 2017—Great Hearts Academies, Arizona’s largest not-for-profit charter school network, had 10 students who were recognized as National Merit Semifinalists, and 24 students who achieved Commended status. Students must test in the 99th percentile for semifinalist recognition and above the 97th percentile for the commendation. Traditionally, less than 1% of students in the nation are semifinalists and less than 2.5% commended.

Competition in this national program is very rigorous, and winners are chosen based on their abilities, skills, extracurricular accomplishments and potential for success in college and beyond. Recipients compete against more than 1.5 million entrants from nearly 22,000 high schools.

After being named a semifinalist, students have an opportunity to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships. About 90% of semifinalists typically attain finalist standing.

A list of Great Hearts National Merit Scholars is included below, by academy:

Anthem Prep Academy—Semifinalists: Hanna Carroll, Jordan Raum
Commended: Nicholas Beeman

Chandler Preparatory Academy—Semifinalist: Elena Boyd
Commended: Samuel Goldinger, Kimberly Norris, Justin Fink, Jonathan Capel, Markham Davis

Glendale Preparatory Academy—Semifinalist: Joshua Lauer, Omair Neazi
Commended: Luke Martinez, Zachary Wilson, Robert Lopez, Carter Lorton

Monte Vista North—Commended: Robert Nix, Joseph Rountree

North Phoenix Preparatory Academy—Semifinalist: Nicholas Pandelakis
Commended: Dorina Pinkhasova

Scottsdale Preparatory Academy—Semifinalists: Samuel Hallam, Alyssa Shapiro, Lauren Stewart
Commended: Shayna Cohen, Alexander Curry, Alison Fong, Daniel Kar, Madison Sitkiewicz, Katherine Wick, Rachel Zoneraich

Veritas Preparatory Academy—Semifinalist: Daphne Newell
Commended: Jack Newell, Gabriel Lewis, Jon Hagstrom, Dominic Diaz

“Once again, we are pleased to see a sizeable number of our students honored as National Merit Semifinalists and Commended Students,” said Dr. Robert Jackson, Chief Academic Officer for Great Hearts. “This nationally recognized benchmark [PSAT] instills confidence in our students and their families, for they can see that the Great Hearts approach achieves remarkable academic results. What’s more, our students are striving for intellectual and moral excellence, and we are incredibly proud of their achievements.”

The open-enrollment period for all 28 Great Hearts academies in Arizona and Texas is happening now through December 11th, 2017. For more information about enrolling, please visit the Great Hearts enrollment web page.

About Great Hearts:
Great Hearts is a non-profit network of public charter schools dedicated to improving education nationwide through classical preparatory K-12 academies. As the largest provider of classical education campuses in the country, Great Hearts academies serve more than 15,000 students at 28 tuition-free public schools in greater Phoenix, Ariz. and San Antonio and Irving, Tex., with waitlists that typically exceed enrollment. Great Hearts provides a robust liberal arts curriculum incorporating advanced math and science, a focus on the arts and foreign language, and a range of extra-curricular activities and athletics. Learn more at

Bill Odell
Director of Communications, Great Hearts
(602) 889-5034

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