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TJ Senior Earns National Merit Scholar Honors

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Congratulations to Senior Savannah Dillard for earning distinction as a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist. Savannah is one of three students in the Four-States area, and one of 16,000 nationally to be selected as semifinalist. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation made the announcement Sept. 11 (Joplin Globe article here), and named the semifinalists who scored in the Top 1% in the nation on the PSAT. From the 16,000 semifinalists, approximately 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. More than 1.5 million juniors in more than 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) last school year. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for scholarships, and high school students enter the by taking the PSAT — a test which serves as an initial screen of entrants each year — and by meeting published program entry/participation academic requirements. Savannah joins an elite group of people recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program including Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Ben Bernanke, and Joseph Stiglitz. For more information about the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit