Take that, Nashville! Memphis has many more National Merit semifinalists

Here is that promised update on National Merit semifinalists, with a bit of a revelation that ought to boost civic self-esteem: When it comes to number of high-achieving students, as measured by numbers of National Merit semifinalists, the Memphis metropolitan area kicks metro Nashville's behind (or, as Terry Roland might put it, their "entire rear end").

Based strictly on the releases sent out late last week from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the numbers come out like this: Metro Memphis with 99 semifinalists, Metro Nashville with 84. Another way of looking at it -- metro Memphis has one semifinalist for every 802 high school students (based on U.S. Census numbers) vs. just one for every 973 high school students in metro Nashville. The methodology was pretty straightforward -- add up all students from public and private schools included in what is known as the metropolitan statistical area. The residencies are provided by the press release; it is unclear if it is listing the student's residence or the school. It breaks down like this:
Memphis students: 63 (25 from Memphis City Schools, 38 from non-public schools)
Suburban Shelby County students: 23 (21 from Shelby County Schools, 2 from non-public schools)
Other suburban students: 13 (nine from DeSoto County public schools, three non-public schools in DeSoto and one public from Marion, Ark.)
Nashville students: 48 (16 from Metro Nashville public schools, 32 from non-public)  
Suburban Nashville students: 36 (26 from public schools, 10 from non-public).
It's interesting that students from what will be a merged Shelby County public-school system contributed 46 of the state's 288 semifinalists, or just more than 16 percent (compare that to 16 total semifinalists and 5.5 percent from Nashville-Davidson County's merged system). Also, metro Memphis is hurt because school systems in Tipton and Fayette Counties produced no semifinalists. An observation that is puzzling: Most of the 38 private-school semifinalists from Memphis metro came from just three schools -- Memphis University School, St. Mary's Episcopal School and Christian Brothers High School had 30 of the 39 (two were home schooled). Does anyone know if mainstream private schools with no semifinalists like Evangelical Christian School, Harding Academy, St. George's Episcopal School and the Catholic Diocese schools either do not participate or otherwise report their numbers?

Looking at how systems do in the National Merit scholarship contests is of course just one measure of school quality, but it does give an indication of how the highest-achieving students compare to peers in their respective states. According to the release:
About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2012 National Merit
Scholarship Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary sat/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (psat/nmsqt®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors

After the jump, a list of ALL the Memphis metro area students, as provided by the releases.
Following is a list of students named National Merit semifinalists from the eight-county metropoolitan Memphis area.
McFann, Sarah E.
Russell, Jake C.

Boller, Jamie N.
Dean, Hunter B.
Erwin, April J.
Sossaman, Jackson R.
Stock, Tucker J.
Zheng, Brandon A.
Thamizharasan, Nivedita
Martin, Thomas G.
Barron, Thomas S.
Hernandez, Emily G.
Hu, Vivian J.
Ruleman, Eric K.
Wan, Yueqi
Hanna, Katherine M.
Allenlundy, Charles C.
Barr, Nathaniel R.
Beall, Steven C.
Hostetter, Kirstie D.
Kim, Caroline H.
Naids, Sarah E.
To, Anthony D.
Xiao, Zheng

Wallace, Molly A.
Alrutz, James B.
Farrell, Matthew W.
Hill, Henry M.
Long, William H.
Scully, Michael S.
Sweeney, Patrick L.
McArtor, Kelley G.
Orr, Caroline M.
Kasich, Bogdan
Ware, Spencer H.
Cooper, Jeremy P.
Barzel, Victor M.
Christman, John D.
Darr, Jackson
Feler, Nathan M.
Franklin, Nathan A.
Galvin, Daniel P.
Goldstein, Eli S.
Graham, Garrott S.
Greenstein, Jacob S.
House, Carder C.
Nathani, Ashish K.
Newman, John S.
Ormseth, George T.
Rouse, Nicholas M.
Sally, Lanning D.
Barker, Abigail R.
Castle, Cristia R.
de Witt, Alexandra E.
Elsakr, Carol R.
Fu, Linda Y.
Kanakamedala, Amritha D.
Mathews, Laura E.
Peeples, Marie L.
Stevenson, Lesley C.
Williams, Katherine E.
Atnip, Winston R.
Miller, Matthew K.
Adusumilli, Nagasai C.
Barker, Abigail
Bell, Owen W.
Billett, Emily K.
Boyella, Sai P.
Chin, Brian J.
Dasari, Tejasvi K.
Desai, Sharvari S.
Drake, William M.
Gan, Keshane H.
Godinez, Allyson M.
Greenberg, Adam D.
Hoang, Lawrence M.
Kao, Gavin
Knapp, Kathryn A.
Morrell, Lucy G.
Rao, Roshan G.
Samant, Shiven
Shaffer, Ruth A.
Sloves, Anneliese E.
Wilson, Caleb A.
Zhang, Julian

Hilliard, George M.
Russell, Kaitlyn D.

England, Alexis
Barber, Kaley A.
Case, Jane C.
Le, Tin N.
Rummel, Savannah Q.
Dunlap, Jacob E.

Earwood, Daniel J.
Southern, Amy M.
Galante, Sebastian D.
Pena, Wesley D.

920 Pankey, Zachary A.


Way to KEEP leading the pack White Station! ONWARD SPARTANS!

When I graduated Central in 1964, we had fifteen semi-finalists out of a class of 450. White Station's results are most impressive. Congratulations to the students, faulty and staff at White Station!

You might want to check those Tipton county numbers again. My son was a National Merit Scholarsip winner. Brighton High School.

@Kay I believe these figures are this years semifinalists. Congrats on your sons achievement however!

That's awesome, Kay. And thanks for the comment. As mentioned already, these are semifinalists for 2011-12. Finalists won't be announced until next year.

Nice job White Station. Question: White Station had 22 ... out of how many in the graduating class? About 550. 22/550 = ~4% of students. St. Mary's is 9/70 which is ~13% of students. MUS is 15/115 = ~ 13% of students. Way to go WSHS, but MUS and SMS ... WAY TO GO!

If the CA is going to use so much front page webspace on football and sports, then these folks definitely deserve a huge banner front page headline. Sports are great, and can teach character and work ethic if taught properly, but these studious kids deserve at least as much attention because they will be the ones to bring jobs and prosperity to Memphis. Congrats to all the merit semi-finalists.

Oops! I see. Well you can tell my son doesn't get his smarts from me. HAHA...whimper.

Great stuff, everyone. Point is well taken about story placement -- when the finalist list (or other similar news of national academic achievement) comes out, I will use your comment to lobby for stronger play. Regarding class size, I'm guessing White Station would argue that its optional program is much smaller than the entire class size and would put the percentages similar to St. Mary's and MUS (then there is the standard issue public school argument that private schools get to selectively pick and choose their graduating class). All that said, the actual POINT of the post was most definitely not to get into the old us vs. them Memphis morass. It was to say that when you add it all up, the Memphis metro area and especially Shelby County's educational options produced more National Merit semifinalists than metro Nasvhille.

This is a topic which is near to my heart... Take care!
Exactly where are your contact details though?

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This blog post, “Take that, Nashville! Memphis has many more National Merit semifinalists - Eye on Schools Merger”
displays the fact that u fully understand just what u r communicating about!
I thoroughly agree. Thank you ,Van

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Where did you actually pick up the tips to create ““Take that, Nashville!
Memphis has many more National Merit semifinalists - Eye on Schools Merger”?
Regards ,Magaret

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