Five Comal ISD students named National Merit Semifinalists, 14 Commended

November 17, 2023 - Five Comal ISD students have been named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, and 14 have been named National Merit Commended Students.

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

  • Trajan Falk, Smithson Valley High School
  • Dakota Fisher, Memorial Early College High School
  • Charleston Hogue, Davenport High School
  • Kumar Kharod, Davenport High School
  • Parker Young, Hill Country College Preparatory High School

They are among the 16,000 semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program who have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

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.

Last school year, more than 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

More than two-thirds, about 34,000, of the high scorers are designated Commended Students. In recognition of their outstanding ability and potential for academic success in college, they are honored with Letters of Commendation. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships, some may be candidates for Special Scholarships offered by corporate sponsors.

National Merit Commended Students

  • Daniela Cisneros, Pieper High School
  • Nicholas Dudzikowski, Smithson Valley High School
  • Abigail Finn, Memorial Early College High School
  • David Garcia, Smithson Valley High School
  • Andrew Greebon, Canyon High School
  • Rowen Hamilton, Smithson Valley High School
  • Porter Jurica, Canyon High School
  • Benjamin Kelemen, Memorial Early College High School
  • Ryan Lopez, Canyon High School
  • Zachary McDaris, Smithson Valley High School
  • Maxen Powell, Smithson Valley High School
  • Ian Randolph, Canyon High School
  • Joshua Selvester, Pieper High School
  • Ford Wisdom, Smithson Valley High School

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.



-Comal ISD National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists were recognized at the Board of Trustees meeting November 16. 

-Comal ISD National Merit Commended Students were recognized at the Board of Trustees meeting, November 16.

Comal ISD National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists are pictured from left Dakota Fisher, Parker Young, Kumar Kharod and Charleston Hogue. Trajan Falk is not pictured.

-Comal ISD National Merit Commended Students are pictured front row from left: Joshua Selvester, Ford Wisdom, Daniela Cisneros, Porter Jurica and Abigail Finn; back row from left is Maxen Powell, David Garcia, Rowen Hamilton, Ian Randolph and Andrew Greebon.


Read more Comal ISD news here.