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4 Montgomery High School Seniors Earn National Merit Scholarships

By Barbara A. Preston l May 12, 2021


The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of four Montgomery High School students as winners of National Merit Scholarships on May 11.


While the scholarships are $2,500, the prestige of the award is the ultimate honor. The National Merit Scholars place in the top one percent of U.S. high school seniors.


Montgomery High School's National Merit Scholars:


William A. Hou, SkillmanProbable career field: Neurosurgery. Prospective biology major with a neuroscience track at Washington University in St. Louis. MHS activities and societies: Montgomery International Youth Neuroscience Association Co-Founder; Montgomery Boys Varsity Fencing Captain;

Class of 2022 Secretary; Interact Club; Model UN; Youth and Government; National Honor Society and

Science Olympiad.


Ishaan Poojari, Skillman — Probable career field: Computer Science. Activities and societies: Computer Science Club (Board Member), NJ Youth and Government Debate Club (Board Member), Neuroscience Club (Co-founder and Board Member), Science Olympiad, National Honor Society, Peer Leadership Program, Model United NationsActivities and societies: Computer Science Club (Board Member), NJ Youth and Government Debate Club (Board Member), Neuroscience Club (Co-founder and Board Member), Science Olympiad, National Honor Society, Peer Leadership Program, Model United Nations.


Royce Sun, Belle Mead — Probable career field: Computer Programming. Incoming Student at the University of Pennsylvania.


Neha Vardhaman, Belle Mead — Probable career field: Computer Science. Fem N STEM Director of tutoring. She is an instructor at Storming Robots, completed a NASA SEES internship last summer, and participates in robotics outside of school.


Clockwise: MHS National Merit Scholars: Royce Sun, Neha Vardhaman, Ishaan Poojari, and William A. Hou.


Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. There are a total of 2,500 Merit Scholar designees national wide.


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Congratulations also to these Montgomery High School students for earning achievement as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists — also placing them in the top one percent of U.S. high school seniors.


Abhay Benoy


Bonnie S. Chen


Lilly C. Das


Stefan Elez


Meghan N. Gajula


Aarush Gupta,


Yizhou Hong


Ashley E. Kim


Rithvik Kommareddy


Thomas J. Lee


Eric Y. Li


Madison Li


Sean Liu


Ethan T. Mathew


Zain I. Mughal


Sami Muhammad


Harsh Panchal


Ian D. Purkis


Arushi Ramaka


Shrivatsa Thakur


Siddharth V. Vecham


Sanjana S. Venkatesh


Andrew B. Wan


Annabelle Wang (Intern for The Montgomery News)


Aaron Xi


Andy Xin


Hedy H. Yang


Melanie Y. Zhang (Intern for The Montgomery News)


How selected

The scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

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