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Thirty-eight Madison high school seniors have been named semifinalists for the 2020 National Merit Scholarships.

The students join about 16,000 other high school seniors across the country that were named Wednesday as semifinalists for the prestigious scholarship. About 90% of semifinalists are named finalists, and around half of the finalists go on to receive a scholarship.

The program, now in its 65th year, will award about $31 million in scholarships this spring.

Madison West High School led the state as the high school with the most semifinalists with 19 students named, followed by Middleton High School with 17 semifinalists.

Semifinalists from Madison schools include:

East High School:

  • Karuna V. Bhat; Owen Jenssen; Grace C. Pietruszka; Joshua Puglielli; Olivia D. Siebert; and Zoey E. Yandell.

La Follette High School:

  • Donald G. Conway.

Memorial High School:

  • Rebecca A. Cutforth; Elizabeth L. Kunkel; Hannah W. Li; Kevin Li; Olivia M. Luedke; Meera Manoharan; Nithin V. Ramachandran; Tianxiao Yang; and Julia Zhou.

West High School:

  • Grace E. Augspurger; Cyrus W. Bjurlin; Theodore W. Bjurlin; Akashdiya Chakraborty; Charles E. Deck; Jessica E. Deschenes; Dayi E. Dong; Noah R. Fehr; Gavin M. Frings; Zachary Heintz; John H. Marek; Celia S. Michaud; Simon B. Pioli-Dunham; Rachel A. Runzheimer; Patrick D. Severson; Samuel L. Striker; Edwin R. Upham; Steven S. Wilke; and Maya E. Williamson Shaffer.

Edgewood High School

  • Elizabeth C. Cook; Emily H. Maiers; and Katelyn M. Wasacz.

Other semifinalists from the Madison area include:


  • Maria T. Fadeyeva.


  • Finneas L. Buck (home school).


  • Adam N. Horton; Eliot S. Pickhardt; Taryn E. Shucha; and Noah L. Wohler.


  • Elijah C. Gregg and William R. Kramer.

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Lake Mills:

  • Anastacia E. Dressel and Gilbert D. Haw (Lakeside Lutheran).

McFarland: Zhihao S. Li.


  • Ava H. DeCroix; Noah S. Ehrhardt; Adam M. Hanson; Mary M. Hsu; Maylynn Hu; Egan C. Johnson; Andrew E. Kruck; Zachary A. Leffel; Caleb H. Radtke; Serena A. Raval; Gabriella K. Roach; Elena A. Sacchetti; Rohan P. Shah; Stephen Z. Shi; Anaka Srinivas; Alexa Williams; and Sean Zhang.


  • Maelia E. Dziedzic; Ethan W. Frydenlund; Jade V. Haase; Elisabeth M. Thoma; and Hanna E. Wendorf.

Mount Horeb:

  • Cree J. Faber and Samuel J. Szalkowski.

New Glarus:

  • Adam C. Nelson.


  • Nora C. McGinty.


  • Briana E. Skerpan.

Sun Prairie:

  • Kaia T. Feldman; Quinn E. Nierzwicki; Christopher J. Plagge; Rishav Roy; and Michael Wu.


  • : Gillian M. Cartwright; Mira K. Deutsch; and Megan E. Diller.


  • Megan N. Brown (home school) and Leah G. Klammer (Luther Preparatory).

Waunakee: Ashlyn S. Anderson; Sebastian J. Geraci; Abigail J. Schmeiser; Ethan D. DeLair (Madison Country Day School); and Evelyn W. Yee (Madison Country Day School).

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include students from Edgewood High School.]

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