The National Merit® Scholarship Program named four District 155 seniors as 2023 National Merit® Semifinalists. The semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and are the highest-scoring students in each state.
Trini Feng - Crystal Lake South
Grace Moore - Crystal Lake Central
Madison Ross - Crystal Lake South
Erin Wadzinski - Cary-Grove
Trini Feng, a senior at Crystal Lake South, earned the title of state champion in the 2022 ACES Academic Challenge competition in the area of English. Trini is active in extracurriculars; a member of band and marching band, the math team, ACES Academic Challenge Team, and a writer for Gator Prints. Outside of school Trini enjoys creative writing and playing piano. Post high school she is considering computer science and pursuing a job in technology.
Grace Moore is a senior at Crystal Lake Central and has a strong interest in advocating for youth perspectives and mental health awareness. She is an honorary youth board member at the National Alliance for Mental Health Illinois of McHenry County (NAMI), founder and president of the Model United Nations team at Crystal Lake Central, and co-captain of the Varsity Cross Country team. Grace plans on applying to colleges in the Northeast with a major in political science or international politics.
Madison Ross is the founder of the Model United Nations Club and involved in National Honors Society at Crystal Lake South. She’s also involved in Student Council, Gator Buddies, Gator Prints, Spanish Club, and Speech Team. With a passion for discovering the role monetary funding has on the largest world problems, she plans to study economics and political science post graduation.
Erin Wadzinski, a senior at Cary-Grove, is deeply involved in her Cary-Grove community. She is a captain of the varsity volleyball team and a state qualifier for the Academic Challenge Team, a board member for Interact and Student Council, and organized the first inaugural Peach Fuzz volleyball game. Erin is also a member of the National Honors Society and was recognized as an Advanced Placement® Scholar with honors. Outside of school, she volunteers her time with the Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association (NISRA) and Purrfect Cat Rescue. In college, Erin would like to study psychology with the intention of pursuing law in the future.
High school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). 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.
Students will find out if they have advanced to Finalist standing in February 2022. Beginning in March 2021, National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and ending in July.