The academic excellence at San Marino High School was quantified once again earlier this week when 12 seniors were named National Merit Scholarship finalists.
“Obviously, I don’t have the data for all of the schools in the state or in the nation, but for a school the size of San Marino to have 12 National Merit Finalists is outstanding,” said Doug Berry, assistant principal of Instruction and Guidance. “I know of schools much larger than San Marino who have one student qualify, maybe every other year and it was a bonanza if they had two. Last year we had 10 and this year a dozen.”
Berry credited the entire school community for the windfall.
“It’s not just the high school, but the entire district,” said Berry. “The rigor of instruction our students receive from the day they begin at our elementary schools puts us in a much different place. And it shows when they take a national exam. They place exceptionally high.”
From across the nation, the National Merit Scholarship Program selects 16,000 students from among the 1.4 million juniors who take the PSAT to become semifinalists. The semifinalists announced at the beginning of the senior school year represent less than 1 percent of United States high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. From that group, 90 percent of the students go on to become finalists. 8,000 will become scholarship winners.