19 Johnson County students named 2021 National Merit scholarship winners

Nearly 20 students from Johnson County have been named finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program, including one student from SM West high School. File photo.

Nearly 20 students in Johnson County have been named finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The finalists each win $2,500 scholarships.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced this year’s scholarship winners earlier this week.

The 19 students from Johnson County are among 2,500 Merit Scholar designees nationwide, who were chosen from a pool of roughly 16,000 students.

National Merit Scholarship winners were judged to have “the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies,” according to a press release.

Additionally, the number of scholarship winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who considered each students’ academic record, the level of difficulty of subjects studied and grades earned, scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay written by the student, and a recommendation written by a high school official.

Here are this year’s National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners from Johnson County:

Shawnee Mission School District

  • Charles B. Horner, Overland Park — Shawnee Mission South — probable career field: nonprofit management
  • Emma M. Worthington, Overland Park — Shawnee Mission West — probable career field: biological engineering
  • Jesse D. DeBok, Shawnee — Shawnee Mission Northwest — probable career field: computer science

USD 232 in De Soto

  • Abigail L. Yarbrough, De Soto — De Soto High — probable career field: biochemistry
  • John R. Lehan, Shawnee — Mill Valley High — probable career field: computer science

Blue Valley Schools

  • Alec A. Liu, Leawood — Blue Valley North — probable career field: computer science
  • Naomi L. James, Overland Park — Blue Valley Northwest — probable career field: undecided
  • Abihith Kothapalli, Overland Park — Blue Valley West — probable career field: computer science
  • Grant H. Mao, Overland Park — Blue Valley North — probable career field: investment banking
  • Nikhil S. Reddy, Overland Park — Blue Valley High —probable career field: chemical engineering

Olathe Public Schools

  • Andrea K. Shehi, Olathe — Olathe East — probable career field: medical research
  • Wade R. Boohar, Overland Park — Olathe North — probable career field: chemical engineering
  • Samuel Q. Liu, Overland Park — Olathe North — probable career field: molecular biology

Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas

  • Jason M. Heeb, Olathe — St. James Academy — probable career field: engineering
  • Charles A. Hill, Shawnee — Bishop Miege High — probable career field: computer programming

Pembroke Hill School

  • Rishabh Gaur, Leawood — probable career field: medicine
  • Alice L. Guo, Overland Park — probable career field: psychology

Rockhurst High

  • Thomas J. Tietjen, Leawood — probable career field: foreign service

Spring Hill School District

  • Lily A. Kuhn, Spring Hill — Spring Hill High — probable career field: bioinformatics