By: Sharon Aron Baron

Out of the 53 Broward County Public School students that were named semifinalists in the prestigious 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program, ten call Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas their high school.

These students join approximately 16,000 students nationwide as semifinalists and represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors with the highest scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which they took as juniors.

Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky couldn’t remember when there were so many semi-finalists from the school.

“We’re incredibly proud to have so many National Merit Scholarship Award semifinalists coming from Marjory Stoneman Douglas,” she said. “This is an amazing achievement and is a tribute to the quality of the education and the caliber of students we have at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.”

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to obtain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million offered next spring.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas students named 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists

Vayun Alapat – MSD
Simon A. Hoo – MSD
Zachary Huang – MSD
Jonathan R. Hutton – MSD
Aeva C. Jazic – MSD
Nikhita Nookala – MSD
Carmen M. Schentrup – MSD
Brian P. Tobin – MSD
Celya O. Walker – MSD
Devon Wiesenfeld – MSD

Coral Glades High School
Yael Kamio

Coral Springs High School

Jake R. Shipe

Taravella, J.P. High School

Chelsey Gerena
Destiny R. Rochester

Other Coral Springs (Home-Schooled)

Margaret Anne Pierce

All Broward County Public School students named 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists are:

Atlantic Technical High School
Eric A. Engelhart

Cooper City High School
Hugh W. Dennin
Joie L. Meyer
Matthew N. Plonskier

Cypress Bay High School
William M. Braga
Andrew C. Braxton
Ryan F. Bush
Isabella Chiurillo
Sydnie S. Cohen
Hannah Kang
Andrew Kennedy
Lance E. Kotler
Tyler Kotler
Joseph Li
Richard T. Liu
Dylan S. Lyon
Christian A. Pichardo
Hannah Rothbard
Caleb Wong
Zachary J. Wurtenberger
Zonshen Yu

Everglades High School
Jaeson P. Alcoriza
Payton Restrepo
Rocky H. Shiu

Flanagan, Charles W. High School
Jeremy M. Gilick

Fort Lauderdale High School
Michael J. Fero
Jayanne Forrest

McFatter, William T. High School
Andre Gomez

Miramar High School
Brian A. Williams

Pompano Beach High School
Vikasni Mohan

South Plantation High School
Ashleigh D. Plasencia


West Broward High School
Alyssa F. Cavazos
Fabiana A. Corsi
Robert Cuba
Nina E. Fernandez
Tyler Metzger
Joshua R. Vogel

Western High School
Sydney H. Leiter
Agustina Vincent de Urquiza

For more information about the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit

Author Profile

Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron is a Parkland resident and editor of Talk Media. She has been covering Parkland news since 2012. Parkland Talk was created to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Parkland.

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