District News

Four Byram Hills High School Seniors Are National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Four students at Byram Hills High School have been selected as semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Four students at Byram Hills High School have been selected as semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Byram Hills seniors Olivia Addeo, Ryan Bernstein, John Ndocaj and Jane Zeltner can compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be awarded in the spring.

“Our distinguished students should be commended for their pursuit of academic success,” said Kristina Wilson, the Byram Hills Guidance Chairperson.

Ms. Wilson congratulated the students on Friday. 

“It’s very impressive that you’ve been able to earn this achievement even though life threw a real curveball,” she said. “You still persevered and worked hard and achieved this amazing accolade.”

“Congratulations, this is a huge honor,” Ms. Wilson told the students.

Byram Hills High School Principal Christopher Walsh also praised the students.

“We’re always extremely proud of our students who are selected as National Merit Semifinalists,” he said. “We know they have worked extremely hard to receive this acknowledgment of their achievements and we congratulate them.” 

The students entered the scholarship competition by taking the Preliminary SAT last year. 

They are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The semifinalists from around the nation represent less than 1% of high school seniors in the United States, and include the highest-scoring entrants from each state.

About 95% of semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and about half of the finalists will win a scholarship and the Merit Scholar title, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Students must apply to become finalists. The application process includes writing an essay and maintaining an outstanding academic record in high school.

2021 National Merit Semifinalists at Byram Hills High School
[From left to right] Olivia Addeo, Ryan Bernstein, John Ndocaj, and Jane Zeltner.