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Madison tops state with 26 National Merit Semifinalists

MADISON – They obviously have done their homework.

Students in Madison City Schools have claimed more semifinalist slots in the National Merit Scholarship Program than any district in Alabama. Bob Jones has 15 students who hold the honor, while James Clemens boasts 11 semifinalists.

“Being named a National Merit Semifinalist is akin to being named an All American in athletics. It is the best of the best,” MCS Superintendent Robert V. Parker said.

“I am so proud of our kids and their teachers. Please note that every school in Madison is well represented (see list below),” Parker said. “(These results) once again prove that it does not matter where you go to school in Madison. Every school is one of America’s Best.”

All semifinalists at James Clemens attended Liberty Middle School. Their elementary schools are included in this list:

* Sai Sumedha Bobba — Columbia Elementary School.

* Shrishti Dubey — Heritage Elementary School.

* Calvin L. Engstrom — Heritage.

* Olivia G. Fox — Mill Creek Elementary School.

* Sophia N. Fox — Mill Creek.

* Ranoah L. Holcomb — Mill Creek.

* Elliott J. Kliesner — Columbia.

* Michael N. Pagan-Selby — Heritage and Madison Elementary School.

* Rohan Sethi — Columbia.

* Lawrence Zhang — Columbia.

* Kevin Zheng — Mill Creek.

At Bob Jones, all semifinalists attended Discovery Middle School except for one student that transferred. The list includes students’ elementary paths:

* Bradley Spindle — Horizon Elementary School, West Madison Elementary School, Madison elementary.

* Kyle Fitzpatrick — Rainbow Elementary School.

* Thomas Teper — Madison elementary.

* Jean-Pierre leRoux — West Madison.

* Benjamin Garrett — Transferred to Discovery.

* Sulekha Ramesh — Rainbow.

* Evan Krohn — West Madison and Columbia.

* Skylar Elliott — West Madison.

* Marielle Baumgartner — Rainbow.

* Joy Duan — Mill Creek, Heritage and Rainbow.

* Juanita Monteiro-Pai — West Madison.

* Michael Guthrie — Rainbow.

* Sherry Lee — Madison elementary.

* Lynne Clark — Horizon.

* Reedham Kalariya — Transferred to Bob Jones.

More than 1.5 million high school students took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test or PSAT/NMQT in 2018. In Madison, 26 students were among the nation’s highest scorers in the top one percent on the PSAT test.

National Merit Scholarships valued at more than $31 million that will be offered in spring 2020.

National Merit Scholarship officials will announce winners of 2020 in four nationwide news releases from April 2020 to July 2020. For more information, visit

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