National Merit Semifinalists announced, Robinson reigns


Robinson’s nine National Merit semifinalists pose for a picture after the school-wide announcement. This year’s class of semifinalists almost double 2017’s total of five semifinalists.

Brooke Volpi, Staff Writer

Last year, Robinson had five National Merit Semifinalists, all five of which went on to be Finalists. But this year, nine Knights were announced as semifinalists, almost doubling last year’s total

Jacob Orlick, Tatiana Fabian, Anna Weber, CJ Baab, Lane Johansen, Nathan Lee, Jmin Liu, Elizabeth Shuman and Hana Yankowitz all tested within the top 0.5% of seniors in Florida on the PSAT.

“I’m extremely proud. I mean, we have very hardworking students here at Robinson High School,” Principal Robert Bhoolai said. “For me to be the principal of nine students who achieved National Merit semifinals- that’s an accomplishment that I can’t even explain how proud I am of them.”

Administrators aren’t the only ones getting excited. Tatiana Fabian, one of the semifinalists, realizes the significance of her accomplishment.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” Fabian said. “I kind of was hoping for it based on my score, but I didn’t know for sure until I saw the announcement.”

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) offers a total of almost $32 million in scholarships for the finalists, a sum that could help many qualifying students achieve a higher education.

“I don’t know where I’m going to school yet,” Fabian said. “But I think [scholarship money will] be helpful if I decide to go to a public school in Florida to help pay for my tuition.”

The nine semifinalists will move on to the next round of competition and will complete a lengthy application.

The NMSC detailed the process in a press release announcing the semifinalists. “To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.”

The finalists will be announced in early 2018.