Northfield Public Schools is pleased to announce that four Northfield High School seniors have been named National Merit Semifinalists and six have been named Commended students. Semifinalists are Alex Gunn, Lars Ripley, Irene Stoutland and Christof Zweifel. These students represent less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

The students are among 16,000 nationwide chosen to compete for the reputable National Merit Scholarship. It is estimated that 90 percent of semifinalists will advance to the finalist level. Of those students, approximately half will be selected as Merit Scholarship recipients.

In order to advance to the next level, the students must receive an endorsement from Principal Joel Leer and complete a detailed application. The application process includes writing a descriptive essay and submitting a resume that outlines past and present involvement in leadership and community activities. Northfield Public Schools wishes the contestants the best of luck as they take the steps necessary to advance to the finalist level. Finalists will be notified in February 2017. National Merit Scholarship winners for 2017 will be announced in the spring.

The list of National Merit Commended Students for 2016-2017 includes Kate Bornhauser, Eric Etzell, Jackson Hillmann, Robert Kopas, Haakon Larsen, and Zachary Vanderwood. These students represent the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

This year’s National Merit Semifinalists and Commended Scholars will be recognized by the Northfield School Board at a reception prior to the October 10th Board meeting. At that time, each student will also recognize one school staff member who the student feels made a significant impact on their education.