Grace Christian Academy announced two members of the Class of 2021, Anna Cella and Luke Gill, were named Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit® Scholarship Program. The announcement came September 9 from the National Merit® Scholarship Corporation.
Of the 1.5 million entrants representing 21,000 high schools in this academic competition, these two distinguished individuals are among approximately 16,000
students nationwide to achieve this honor. They are now qualified to compete for a
share of 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, collectively worth more than $30 million,
and advance to Finalist standing. As a Semifinalist, Cella and Gill are considered two of
the highest scoring entrants from our state on the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit
Scholarship Qualifying Test.
“It is a wonderful thing when intellect, diligence, and the grace of God intersect in the
life of a student and of a school,” said GCA High School Principal, Richard B. Anderson.
“To that end, Grace Christian Academy gratefully acknowledges the recognition of both
Anna Cella and Luke Gill as National Merit Semifinalists. This is a milestone moment
for these two students, for their families, and for our entire school community. We
celebrate these two fine young people and give God the glory for their achievements.”
Of the nationwide pool of Semifinalists, 15,000 students are expected to advance to
Finalist standing, representing less than 1% of US high school seniors to achieve this
rank. Attaining Finalist standing in the competition requires meeting high academic
standards and fulfilling a number of rigorous prerequisites. These designees are selected
on the basis of their accomplishments, including, but not limited to, involvement in
community activities, proven leadership skills, and potential for college success.
Finalists will be selected for three types of National Merit Scholarships, thereby earning
the Merit Scholar title. The Merit Scholars will be announced beginning next spring.
GCA Academic Dean, Dr. Amy Hodgson said, “With all of GCA, we thankfully share in
the joy of Anna and Luke – their academic giftings are just beginning to bear fruit!”
Grace Christian Academy also applauds Joe Hauk, Josh Hilner and Grant Solomon for
their achievement of being named National Merit® Commended students. To receive
this status, Hauk, Hilner and Solomon were among the top 3-4% of scorers on the 2019
Preliminary SAT/National Merit® Scholarship Qualifying Test, and have been
recognized with this honor for their outstanding academic success.