SARASOTA — Sarasota County Schools announced that 31 students throughout the district have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition in which students can earn recognition and qualify for scholarships, according to a district news release.

High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

More than 1.5 million juniors from about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program, the release said.

These high-scoring students were notified through their schools last month that they have qualified as either a commended student or semifinalist.

Of the nearly 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. In February, they will be notified of this designation, the release said.

The following Sarasota County students were named National Merit semifinalists:

Pine View School: Lauren Andrews, Rocket Burns, Farrah Cavus, Benjamin Covert, Ethan Dayo, Noah Gaertner, Jack Gallahan, Christiana Guan, Michael Gutierrez, Madison Halcomb, Arik Katz, Vinay Konuru, Emily Merrill, Karl Milland, Lilly Nelson, Edison Obi, Milo Ruffing, Tricia Saputera, Alana Schreibman, Kristoffer Selberg, Forrest St. Pierre, Hannah Sticht, Charlie Sutcuoglu, Hannah Varghese, Jaden Wiesinger, Makena Winch and Carter Zilleckis.

Venice High School: Benjamin Snyder.

Riverview High School: Alexander Gardner, Sadie Siegel.

Sarasota High School: Elizabeth Abbott.

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