Knoxville Catholic and Notre Dame announce National Merit semifinalists

Knoxville Catholic High School’s Riley Smith and Peter Ayo and Notre Dame High School’s Isabella Wade have earned National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist honors.

Out of the 1.5 million juniors nationwide who took the PSAT test last fall, only 16,000 qualified as semifinalists. Riley, Peter, and Isabella, all seniors, now have an opportunity to compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. Riley is the son of Deacon Sean and Melissa Smith, and Peter’s parents are James and Dr. Ray-Anne Ayo and Paul Dender. Isabella, daughter of Jeff and Janet Wade, also boasts a 4.49 GPA and a perfect ACT score. Outside of school, she enjoys horseback riding and also spends numerous hours volunteering with a therapeutic riding program.

KCHS also announced five Commended Scholars in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

Only about 34,000 of the original 1.6 million PSAT participants have been recognized as such. The following students are among the top 5 percent of PSAT testers: Dylan Carroll, Chase Fuller, Ben Kozemko, Marisa McMichael, and Jack Swartwood.

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