The Tempe Union High School District hosted a ceremony to congratulate the 45 students who were recently named semifinalists for the 2012 National Merit Scholarship. The ceremony took place at the Fiesta Inn and Resort in Tempe on Tuesday, Nov. 1 and students attended with their principals as well as district administrators such as superintendent Kenneth Baca and the members of the governing board.

"I am so proud of all of the semifinalists who have demonstrated their commitment to excellence," Desert Vista principal Dr. Anna Battle said in an email. "I would be remiss not to mention how valuable all D.V. teachers are towards students' academic success. I thank them! Lastly, the parental support these students have been blessed to have since they were toddlers is certainly evident, given this opportunity to become a National Merit Finalist! I am honored to serve all of the students at Desert Vista High School."

Nationally 16,000 of the original 50,000 highest scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT were chosen as semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship.

Finalists will be announced in February 2012 and the winners will receive college scholarships.

Seven students from Mountain Pointe High School were selected and 23 were from Desert Vista.

"I told (the students) that this is a great honor because so few students globally achieve this standard of achievement," Mountain Pointe principal Bruce Kipper said in an email. "I also told them that they could have only achieved this by being dedicated to their learning and showing a determine focus. We are very proud of the seven Mountain Pointe students that earned this honor."

The students are as follows:

Mountain Pointe - Joshua Anolick, Tommy Bello, Ryan Hofmann, Ajay Karpur, Alex (Alexandrea) Martinez, Sean Sannier and Frank Zhang.

Desert Vista - Saumya R. Bollam, Brandon M. Djaja, Katelyn A. Giel, Brenna R. Goodwin, Ali Icenogle, Joseph S. Kim, Stephen J. Marcucci, Kyungjei Min, Rohitha A. Moudgal, Anoosha S. Murella, Daniel M. Niv, Carolyn G. Rath, Ankur M. Razdan, Eliza R. Skidmore, Seung J. Son, Jeeyoung Sung, Susan M. Tu, Peter M. Tueller, Margaret J. Wong, Andrew E. Wu, Jennifer J. Wu, Huangang Zheng and Jenny F. Zou.

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