Symmes Twp. and Loveland kids

among those earning the honor

By Tammy Rosenfeldt

SYMMMES TOWNSHIP, OH (September 22, 2022) – Heather Wilkowski, Upper School Principal of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, announced six CHCA seniors have been named National Merit Semifinalists. 

They are: Andrew Ghastine (of Symmes Twp), William Kuhlman (of Mason), Isaac Mills (of Loveland), Grace Pearson (of Mason), Benjamin Smith (of Mason), and Craig Stotz (of Mason).

A certificate from the National Merit Scholarship Cooperation will be presented to these students at CHCA’s Academic Awards Night in April 2023.

These academically talented high school seniors now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.


High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing 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.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and rewards received.

A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

“We are very proud of these students and their incredible accomplishment,” said Wilkowski. “I am excited to see how God will use their gifts and talents as they continue to pursue their studies. I am also grateful to the incredible faculty we have at CHCA and for their impact on these students.”

Back Row L-R Mills, Smith, Pearson Front Row L-R Ghastine, Kuhlman, Stotz (Photo Tammy Rosenfeldt)