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Holladay Journal

Twelve area high school students named National Merit Scholar Semifinalists

Nov 15, 2021 02:24PM ● By Heather Lawrence

By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]

Twelve Holladay area high school students have been named National Merit Scholar Semifinalists. The students, who attend Olympus, Skyline and Cottonwood High, made the list based on their high PSAT/NMSQT test scores. 

“It’s really an honor. Out of the 1.5 million students who were in the competition, only 16,000 are chosen to be semifinalists. That’s less than 1%. So to have multiple students at one school who achieve that, it’s really incredible,” said Olympus parent Angela Doyle. 

Doyle’s daughter Isabella Doyle is one of the finalists along with four other students from Olympus: Andrew Bennett, Abigail Linscott, Miles Fawson and Vinamra Tyagi. 

Five students at Skyline are semifinalists: Andrew Blodgett, Christina Dong, Mingling Huang, Louis McCracken and Annabelle Soelberg. 

Cottonwood has two semifinalists: Logan Luker and Alex Kellgreen. 

Principals at the three schools are impressed—but not surprised—that their students achieved this honor.  

“We are so proud of our two National Merit Scholar Semifinalists. Both Alex Kellgreen and Logan Luker have not only excelled in academics, but they have excelled in the performing arts.  They are both madrigals. Logan has also participated in jazz band, symphonic band, concert choir and theater,” said Cottonwood principal Terri Roylance. 

“Additionally, Alex and Logan have taken the math/physics block classes. This is a rare combination in high school due to the rigor required for this class, which is taught every day.

“We join with the parents of these two scholars to congratulate their academic success, and cheer them on as they move on to the next level of competition,” Roylance said. 

Olympus principal Jen Christensen is also impressed by the semifinalists from her school. 

“All five of them are doing amazing things. Isabella Doyle takes classes at the University of Utah, and has excelled in robotics and other programs. Vin Tyagi is very involved with DECA and is a student ambassador at the Granite Technical Institute. 

“Three of our five semifinalists are also Olympus Sterling Scholars. Andrew Bennett is the Sterling Scholar for science, Abigail Linscott is the mathematics Sterling Scholar and Miles Fawson is the instrumental music Sterling Scholar,” Christensen said. 

Fawson, who is training to be a concert pianist, has played twice at Carnegie Hall. 

“We’ve got incredible students that have worked so hard to accomplish so many things while they’ve been in high school. We couldn’t be more impressed by these students, and can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the future. It just blows me away to see what these kids are able to do,” Christensen said. 

Skyline’s semifinalists are also a remarkable group. Principal Mitch Nerdin said all the semifinalists, like so many students at the school, follow the RISE initiative. RISE is an acronym and mantra for the school and stands for Resilience, Integrity, Support and Excellence. 

“Skyline students are amazing. These particular students, our five semifinalists, know how to ‘RISE.’ It is so wonderful to see them excel and showcase their efforts and skills,” Nerdin said.