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69 MISD Seniors Earn National Merit and College Board Recognition, Double Last Year’s Number

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Thursday, October 21, 2021
  • McKinney Boyd High School National Merit Semi-Finalists: (l-r) Bokai Bi, Thomas Ferry, Jr., Isaac Fisher and Clara Armstrong (Not available for photo: Braxton Wade)
  • McKinney High School National Merit Semi-Finalists: (l-r) Hektor Cissik and Kaitlyn Younger
  • McKinney Boyd High School National Merit Commended Scholars: (l-r, front row) Brady Anthony Schwab, Brady Michael O'Connor, Andrew Thomas McLeod, Jordan Edward Tan, Andrew Siegmund Rothe, (middle row) Jaxon David Cota, Jennifer Qing Wang, Lacey Rose Hale, Morgan Lynn Gingerich and (back) Joanne June Lee (Not available for photo: Lauren Jane Brown and Ian Michael Fair)
  • McKinney High School National Merit Commended Scholars: (l-r) Madison Nguyen, Sarah Czuwala, Harris Qureshi, Ethan Ung, Hudson Davis (Not pictured: Liam Nichols and Elisabeth Peek)
  • McKinney North High School National Merit Commended Scholars: (l-r, front row) Mary Fanning, Sarah Knowlton, Ruriko Okita, (back row) Noah Alavi, Connor Ford, Christa Louthan and Joshua Miller
  • McKinney Boyd High School National African American Recognition Honorees: (l-r, front row) Ryan Christopher Cyrus, Julius Lavon Thompson II, Yevedzaishe Sephora Kangara (second row) Kyerra Monique Robinson, Kennede Ann Johnson and (back) Kaila Danielle Simmons (Not pictured: Raymond Williams)
  • McKinney North High School National African American Recognition Honorees: (l-r, front row) Amaya Dixon, Rachael Godwin, Alyssia Simmons, (back row) Micah Barker, Kody Blackwood, Joshua Pearre and Tavion Smith
  • McKinney Boyd High School National Hispanic Recognition Honorees: (l-r) Julian Alejandro Hinojosa, Abigail Marquez, Angela Aguilar, Sarah Nicole Fambro, Rosalie Solorio, Ian Michael Aranibar, Jonathan Gerard Masley (Not pictured: Mia Humphries, Fernanda Denise Kilian, John Nehemiah Law, Alejandro Jacobo Maestas, Selah Grace Norton, Faith Marie Talbott and Sydni Waidelich)
  • McKinney North High School National Hispanic Recognition Honorees: (l-r) Audrey Fernandez, Isabella Casso, Isaiah Alvarez, Kiara Ballay, Luke Pierce, Vanessa Sereno
  • McKinney Boyd High School National Indigenous Recognition Honoree: Edmon Jerrel Laurent
  • McKinney North High School National Indigenous Recognition Honoree: Isabella Casso
  • This fall, officials from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the College Board recognized 69 McKinney ISD high school seniors in five categories for their outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT©), doubling the number of MISD students recognized last year.

McKinney, Texas – Each fall, approximately 1.5 million high school juniors head to testing locations across the country to sit for the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT©), which serves as an initial screen of entrants into the National Merit Scholarship Program, a competition that can lead to academic recognition, college scholarships and the prestigious title of National Merit Scholar.

This fall, officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of 26 McKinney ISD seniors whose results on the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT earned them recognition as Commended Scholars and seven who earned the title of National Merit Semifinalist.

In addition, the College Board announced the names of 14 MISD seniors honored in the National African American Recognition Program, 20 seniors who were honored in the National Hispanic Recognition Program and two who earned distinction in the National Indigenous Recognition Program for their exceptional performance on the exam.

In total, the number of MISD students honored by NMSC and the College Board rose to 69 for 2021, more than double the previous year’s number. In addition, the honorees in the National Recognition Programs increased from seven in 2020 to 36 in 2021—a five-fold increase.

Each level of commendation represents a remarkable academic achievement.

“We are so proud of our students in receiving this wonderful academic accomplishment,” said Dr. Javetta Jones Roberson, MISD Secondary Coordinator of Advanced Academics & Gifted/Talented. “We have representation for National Merit and the College Board’s National Recognition Program at all three of our high schools, which is phenomenal! We look forward to continuing to help support these students and their future endeavors as they positively impact our school, local and global community.”

National Merit Semifinalists

National Merit Scholarship Corporation has named approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in this year’s National Merit Scholarship Program, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 highest scoring students. These academically talented high school seniors represent fewer than 1 percent of the nation’s high school graduating seniors and will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill requirements beyond their performance on the PSAT/NMSQT to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

McKinney Boyd High School National Merit Semifinalists
Clara Armstrong
Bokai Bi
Thomas Ferry, Jr.
Isaac Fisher
Braxton Wade

McKinney High School National Merit Semifinalists
Hektor Cissik
Kaitlyn Younger

group shot

McKinney Boyd High School National Merit Semi-Finalists: (l-r) Bokai Bi, Thomas Ferry, Jr., Isaac Fisher and Clara Armstrong (Not pictured: Braxton Wade)

group photo at school

McKinney High School National Merit Semi-Finalists: (l-r) Hektor Cissik and Kaitlyn Younger

National Merit Commended Scholars

Of the approximately 1.5 million students who take the PSAT/NMSQT, some 34,000 of the highest scoring entrants—representing roughly the top 2 percent—receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Commended Scholars are named on the basis of a nationally applied Selection Index score.

Although Commended Scholars do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

McKinney Boyd High School National Merit Commended Scholars
Lauren Jane Brown
Jaxon David Cota
Ian Michael Fair
Morgan Lynn Gingerich
Lacey Rose Hale
Joanne June Lee
Andrew Thomas McLeod
Brady Michael O’Connor
Andrew Siegmund Rothe
Brady Anthony Schwab
Jordan Edward Tan
Jennifer Qing Wang

McKinney High School National Merit Commended Scholars
Sarah Czuwala
Hudson Davis
Liam Nichols
Madison Nguyen
Elisabeth Peek
Harris Qureshi
Ethan Ung

McKinney North High School National Merit Commended Scholars
Noah Alavi
Mary Fanning
Connor Ford
Sarah Knowlton
Christa Louthan
Joshua Miller
Ruriko Okita

group photo

McKinney Boyd High School National Merit Commended Scholars: (l-r, front row) Brady Anthony Schwab, Brady Michael O’Connor, Andrew Thomas McLeod, Jordan Edward Tan, Andrew Siegmund Rothe, (middle row) Jaxon David Cota, Jennifer Qing Wang, Lacey Rose Hale, Morgan Lynn Gingerich and (back) Joanne June Lee (Not pictured: Lauren Jane Brown and Ian Michael Fair)

group shot

McKinney High School National Merit Commended Scholars: (l-r) Madison Nguyen, Sarah Czuwala, Harris Qureshi, Ethan Ung, Hudson Davis (Not pictured: Liam Nichols and Elisabeth Peek)

group photo

McKinney North High School National Merit Commended Scholars: (l-r, front row) Mary Fanning, Sarah Knowlton, Ruriko Okita, (back row) Noah Alavi, Connor Ford, Christa Louthan and Joshua Miller

College Board National Recognition Programs

The College Board National Recognition Programs create pathways to college for students from underrepresented communities by awarding them academic honors and connecting them with universities across the country. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT, score in the top 2.5 percent and are African American, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous or attend school in a rural area or small town, may be invited to apply for academic recognition as part of the College Board National Recognition Programs.

College Board National African American Recognition Program

McKinney Boyd National African American Recognition Honorees
Ryan Christopher Cyrus
Kennede Ann Johnson
Yevedzaishe Sephora Kangara
Kyerra Monique Robinson
Kaila Danielle Simmons
Julius Lavon Thompson II
Raymond Williams

McKinney North National African American Recognition Honorees
Micah Barker
Kody Blackwood
Amaya Dixon
Rachael Godwin
Alyssia Simmons
Joshua Pearre
Tavion Smith

group photo

McKinney Boyd High School National African American Recognition Honorees: (l-r, front row) Ryan Christopher Cyrus, Julius Lavon Thompson II, Yevedzaishe Sephora Kangara (second row) Kyerra Monique Robinson, Kennede Ann Johnson and (back) Kaila Danielle Simmons (Not pictured: Raymond Williams)

group photo

McKinney North High School National African American Recognition Honorees: (l-r, front row) Amaya Dixon, Rachael Godwin, Alyssia Simmons, (back row) Micah Barker, Kody Blackwood, Joshua Pearre and Tavion Smith

College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program

McKinney Boyd National Hispanic Recognition Honorees
Angela Aguilar
Ian Michael Aranibar
Sarah Nicole Fambro
Julian Alejandro Hinojosa
Mia Humphries
Fernanda Denise Kilian
John Nehemiah Law
Alejandro Jacobo Maestas
Abigail Marquez
Jonathan Gerard Masley
Selah Grace Norton
Rosalie Solorio
Faith Marie Talbott
Sydni Waidelich

McKinney North National Hispanic Recognition Honorees
Isaiah Alvarez
Kiara Ballay
Isabella Casso
Audrey Fernandez
Luke Pierce
Vanessa Sereno

group photo

McKinney Boyd High School National Hispanic Recognition Honorees: (l-r) Julian Alejandro Hinojosa, Abigail Marquez, Angela Aguilar, Sarah Nicole Fambro, Rosalie Solorio, Ian Michael Aranibar, Jonathan Gerard Masley (Not pictured: Mia Humphries, Fernanda Denise Kilian, John Nehemiah Law, Alejandro Jacobo Maestas, Selah Grace Norton, Faith Marie Talbott and Sydni Waidelich)

group photo

McKinney North High School National Hispanic Recognition Honorees: (l-r) Audrey Fernandez, Isabella Casso, Isaiah Alvarez, Kiara Ballay, Luke Pierce, Vanessa Sereno

College Board National Indigenous Recognition Program

McKinney Boyd National Indigenous Recognition Honoree
Edmon Jerrel Laurent

McKinney North National Indigenous Recognition Honoree
Isabella Casso

one student standing for photo

McKinney Boyd High School National Indigenous Recognition Honoree: Edmon Jerrel Laurent

one student standing for photo

McKinney North High School National Indigenous Recognition Honoree: Isabella Casso

National Merit Scholarship Corporation
NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

The College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education.

Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

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If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

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