Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman claimed Thursday as National Merit Scholar Day after 44 students from the Tempe Union High School District qualified as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.
Eight of those scholars were recognized Wednesday night at the Tempe City Council meeting.
“These students represent our brightest future,” Hallman said. They “give us a legacy of hope and pride.”
Hallman said this is the highest number of National Merit Scholars the district has ever produced. The Tempe district includes seven high schools in Tempe and Ahwatukee Foothills.
Corona del Sol High School in Tempe produced 17 semifinalists -- the most in the district and second most in the state. Only Tucson's University High School produced more semifinalists at 21.
Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee Foothills produced 12 semifinalists, and Mountain Pointe High School in Ahwatukee Foothills produced 10.
Of the “1.4 million students nationally that take the PSAT, only 50,000 qualify as National Merit finalists,” Hallman said.
National Merit Scholarship spokeswoman Elaine Detweiler said every finalist is considered for one of 700 National Achievement Scholarships. She said these $2,500 scholarships are awarded on a regional basis.
One of the scholars recognized was Mountain Pointe senior Garrett Frantz, 18. He is a member of his school’s swim team and weight-lifting team and co-president of the programming club and a member of the blues guitar club.
Frantz received a 1440 on the PSAT, not including the written composition.
“I’m fond of mathematics and sciences,” Frantz said. Next fall Frantz plans to attend Arizona State University, majoring in biomedical engineering.
Frantz said he has been lucky to have a great family that supports him. As a reward for all his hard work, his parents helped him purchase a new car.
“We just thank the scholarship, and we are really, really glad that they selected him,” said his mom, Chevelle Frantz. “We’re just really proud of him.”