Three National Merit Semifinalists, 20 Commended Students at District 99

National Merit Semifinalists John L. Cagney, Miles D. Christensen, and Christopher Bull, Ms. Janice Schwarze, DGN principal.

South High Commended Students with Ed Schwartz, Principal: Marc E. Alvarez, Allison P. Brandt, Aoife K. McGivern, Akhil Ghosh, and Jayson R. Mears. (Not pictured: Ian R. Bales.)


Community High School District 99 announces that three students have been named a 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist, a program that recognizes high-school seniors who have excelled in academics and have the potential to succeed in rigorous college programs.

The three students, all from North High in Downers Grove, are:

  • Christopher Bull of Downers Grove
  • John L. Cagney of Downers Grove
  • Miles D. Christensen of Downers Grove

North High Commended Students: Front row (l-r): Kaylee McCarthy, Hayley Wagreich, Nafisa Asad, Kailey Nelson, Alice Bieda, Patrick Doyle; Back row (l-r): Olivia Di Iorio, Syed Ahmad, Nicholas Saba, Matthew Lee, Nicholas Arand, Sidney Lee, Janice Schwarze, Principal. (Not pictured: Joseph Delorto, Charles Tenorio)

The three will join about 16,000 seniors from across the country and will compete for 7,500 NMSP scholarships totaling more than $32 million.

In addition, 20 District 99 students have been named Commended Students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2018 competition by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

The following South High students are 2018 National Merit Commended students:

  • Marc E. Alvarez of Downers Grove
  • Ian R. Bales of Downers Grove
  • Allison P. Brandt of Woodridge
  • Akhil Ghosh of Woodridge
  • Aoife K. McGivern of Downers Grove
  • Jayson R. Mears of Downers Grove

The following North High students are 2018 National Merit Commended students:

  • Syed Ahmad of Downers Grove
  • Nicholas Arand of Downers Grove
  • Nafisa Asad of Oak Brook
  • Alice Bieda of Downers Grove
  • Joseph Delorto of Downers Grove
  • Olivia Di Iorio of Downers Grove
  • Patrick Doyle of Downers Grove
  • Matthew Lee of Westmont
  • Sidney Lee of Downers Grove
  • Kaylee McCarthy of Woodridge
  • Kailey Nelson of Downers Grove
  • Nicholas Saba of Downers Grove
  • Charles Tenorio of Downers Grove
  • Hayley Wagreich of Downers Grove

“Each one of these students is a source of pride for our community, and we congratulate them on the achievement of being recognized in this prestigious program,” says Superintendent Dr. Hank Thiele. “This recognition will help expand their educational opportunities and pursuit of academic success.”

For more information about the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, please visit

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