Conroe ISD recognizes National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, National Hispanic Recognition recipients

November 21, 2016 GMT

The Conroe ISD school board stood on their feet to applaud the accomplishments of several high school students recognized as scholars.

Trustees gave special recognition to the 2016-2017 Conroe ISD National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists and National Hispanic Recognition Recipients at their meeting Tuesday. Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education James Kacur introduced the scholars. Trustee Mrs. Melanie Bush presented each student in attendance with a certificate.

“I’m proud to be here this evening to recognize a fine group of men and women and celebrate their academic accomplishments,” Kacur said.

The senior students were acknowledged for their performance on the Preliminary SAT they took in October, which is also the National Merit Scholarship Program’s qualifying test. In early September, about 16,000 students, or approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers, are notified that they have qualified as semifinalist. To ensure that academically able young people from all parts of the U.S. are included in this talent pool, semifinalists are designated on a state representational basis. They are the highest scoring entrants in each state, according to Conroe ISD.


The program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. The test serves as an initial screening of approximately 1.5 million entrants. Around 50,000 students with the highest scores will qualify for recognition in the program.

In February, approximately 15,000 semifinalists will be notified by mail that they have advanced to Finalist level.

The National Hispanic Recognition Program identifies academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students. Each year, the NHRP honors nearly 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from approximately 235,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT.

Kacur also highlighted those who help the students succeed.

“By offering our rigourous curriculum our campus do an outstanding job of preparing our students to be successful,” he said. “Thank you to our great teachers and administrators for their fine work. While we are extremely proud of the efforts our campuses we understand the journey of these high achieving students starts at home.”

Principals from each high school campus, parents, grandparents, and guardians were applauded by the board. Each students also had a chance to shake the trustees hands, who personally congratulated them for their accomplishments.

“This is an incredible testimony to your hard work,” Bush stated in her remarks to the students.

Quoting Abigail Adams she continued, “Learning is not obtained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. The dedication and hard work you have shown will serve you well throughout your life. We are very proud of you.”

Conroe ISD Semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program:


The Woodlands College Park - Ryan Bailey, Kristen Bohnet, Meleah Caron, Andrew Daugherty, Nivva Emmi, Vidisha Ganesh, Zachary Hill, Meriel Kelly, Sebastian Lungu, Austin Nutt, Jake Paufler, Kaila Prochaska, Franklin Shi, Evelyn Tran, Brunon Walczak, Jessica Zhang

The Woodlands High School - Federico Aquique, Thomas Benavides, Scott Curtis, Jack Herdejurgen, Casey Irwin, Nicholas Monks, Michael Purcell, Carlos Ruffo, Nivedhitha Selvaraj, Mohit Talwalker, Ian Tudor

The National Hispanic Recognition Program recipients are:

Conroe High School – Yasmeen Santana, Cesar Martinez, Israel Lopez, Jacob Posten

Oak Ridge High School – Alexis Wert, Alexis McAlister

The Woodlands College Park High School - Andrea Santa Cruz, Noah Tatman, Daniel Duran, Kyle Smith, Daniela Rodriguez Tirad, Micah Gonzalez, Lindsey Collado, Zivan Vasquez, Juliana Steward, Julian Calderon-Espino

The Woodlands High School – Tomas Acin Chediex, Zakaria Almughrabi, Pablo Alvarado, Federico Aquique, Matthew Aschenbrenner, Thomas Benavides, Jay Bhatt, Daniela Braniff, Gabriel Carbajal, Mariana Castillo, Alan Contreras Castillo, Hugh Cosculluela, Mallory Eatson, Victoria Faulkner, Alyssa Fuentes, Sebastian Garcia-Casas, Asa Graham, Jacob Grimm, Franciesca Guerrero Jurado, Palmer Johnson, Loreno Maldonado, Aidan McQuaide, Nicholas Monks, Mauricio Montes, Broderick Moore, Nicole Soriano, Kirhyn Stein, Joseph Tombari, Andre Turati, Andrea Vanags-Louredo, Gavin Webster