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Ten Tri-Cities seniors named to National Merit semifinalists list

Rick Wagner • Sep 14, 2016 at 1:00 AM

Ten Tri-Cities high school seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced Wednesday, including four from Kingsport’s Dobyns-Bennett High and one from Sullivan South in Sullivan County.

The 10 are: Ian Steptoe of New Hope Academy in Blountville; Rebekah Preshong homeschooled in Johnson City; Taylor Canfield of Science Hill High School; Amelia Taylor of Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tenn.; Elizabeth Shelton of Virginia High School in Bristol, Va.; Kendall Bonner, Joella Jarjoura, Samatha Maness and Chandler Woods of Dobyns-Bennett High in Kingsport; and Lauren Tranum of Sullivan South High just south of Kingsport.

They are among 16,000 semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. They have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.