National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist and Commended Students


Vestal High School Principal Dawn F. Young is pleased to announce that one Vestal High School senior, Ashwath Ashok, has qualified as a Semifinalist in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. This academically talented high school senior was among the approximately 16,000 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists announced nationwide. He will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 7,600 scholarship awards worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring as part of the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.


In addition, Mrs. Young is proud to announce that seven Vestal High School students have been named Commended Students. Letters of commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which conducts the program, have been received by Jaron Cui, Angelique de Rouen, Catherine Deskur, Dorothy Donacik, John Guo, Sean Lewis and Noah Walsh. 

Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 c competition when they took the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Approximately 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. 

“Vestal students apply themselves diligently to learning,” said Principal Dawn F. Young. “While this achievement is one moment in time, we know our students are well-prepared by the teachers of Vestal K-12 for any challenge in front of them. Congratulations to our Semifinalist and Commended Students as well as their families on this prestigious accomplishment!”

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 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share its goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. For more information about the competition, please visit NMSC’s website at
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