For the first time, every public high school in Fayette County has had at least one student named as a National Merit semifinalist. The district's five high schools produced 38 semifinalists, a record number.
The announcement comes on the heels of No Child Left Behind, ACT and Commonwealth Accountability Testing System data that show high schools continually struggling with student achievement.
The Fayette County students named as semifinalists scored in the top 1 percent of the country in the Preliminary SAT test. The 38 are among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide. They will compete for 8,200 scholarships, worth more than $35 million.
The National Merit announcement is a "reflection on our school district from (preschool) through the senior year in high school," Fayette Superintendent Stu Silberman said. "That really doesn't happen overnight. That's from the time a student walks through the doors till the time that they graduate."
The Fayette County semifinalists are:
■ Bryan Station High School: Zachary Davis.
■ Henry Clay High School: April Dodd, Alexander Dutch, David Fraebel, James Fritz, Jared Gibson, Julia Hunter, Christopher Jacovitch, Rachel Looff, Sarah Looff, Margaret Lutz, Daniel Richey, Lilian Rogers, Erin Wrightson and Le Zhang.
■ Lafayette High School: Brittany Fenner, Abby Kirk, Sonya Rich, Evan Shirley and Qing Xie.
■ Paul Laurence Dunbar High School: Alayna Boland, Scott Calvert, Tessa Cavagnero, Leslie Davis, John Fitzpatrick, Jack Fogle, Jennifer Grasch, Pavitra Muralidhar, Benjamin Nosarzewski, Elliott Rosenberg, Kyle Rosenberg, Rahul Sharma, Michael Shen, Hanyuan Shi, Adam Timaji, Connie Wu and Mimi Yang.
■ Tates Creek High School: Natasha Druggan.