Palmetto High students gain top scholastic honors

Eight Palmetto Senior High School students were selected as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists for the class of 2012. The eight seniors are Joshua Ascherman, James Choi, Nathan Harris, Albert Liu, Yang Liu, Alyssa Rosenfeld, Ellora Sarkar and Olga Shestopalova.

The award honors students who excel on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The students now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million that will be offered in the spring.

At the same time, Palmetto High School seniors Kara Post and Kristen Coke were named semifinalists in the 2012 National Achievement Scholarship Program, an academic competition for black high school students. Only about 1,600 students across the country are named semifinalists. These students now have an opportunity to advance in the competition for National Achievement Scholarships.

Eleven other Palmetto seniors were recognized by the National Hispanic Recognition Program, which identifies academically wellprepared Hispanic high school students to subscribing colleges and universities. They are Samantha Agron, Jack Danon, Andrew Doobay, Monica Dyches, Andrew Salazar, Edward Santos, Tatiana Schaefer, Abraham Starosta, Jean-Alexander Turban, Marco Ybarz and Lina White.

Palmetto Senior High had six winners in the total of 50 in Florida receiving the National Council of Teachers of English 2011 Achievement Award in Writing. Only one other student in all of Miami-Dade County was recognized with this award. The six students are Samantha Agron, Kevin Gerson, Nathan Harris, Britta Hallebo, Ari Kalfus and Ellora Sarkar. They were honored at a school ceremony on Oct. 17.