Weekly roundup: OC students named National Merit semifinalists, forum to honor Hispanic Heritage Month, and more

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Congratulations are in order for high school campuses throughout Orange County as hundreds of students were recently named National Merit semifinalists.

As the Orange County Register reported, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation recently announced its list of over 16,000 semifinalists to compete for numerous scholarships next year.

More than 45 high schools in the county were recognized for the academic achievements of 200 plus students. Northwood and University high schools in the Irvine Unified School District had the highest number with 37 and 27 students, respectively. Troy, Portola, Beckman and Valencia high schools each had at least 10 semifinalists from their campuses.

The National Merit program honors a select number of high school seniors nationwide who have passed both their preliminary SAT and the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test with flying colors.

Next spring, a majority of these students will move on to the finals, where they will be vying for $28 million in scholarship prizes and the title of “Merit Scholar.”

The Orange County Register has published a complete list of Orange County Merit Scholar semifinalists.

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • To commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, students at Orangethorpe Elementary School visited a nearby memorial built by a local firefighter.
Orangethorpe 9:11 students raise hands
  • In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Orange County Department of Education will be hosting its latest online colloquium in the “Know My Name, Face and Story” series, featuring a diverse panel of distinguished guests on Monday, Sept. 19.
Irvine middle school student Claire Chong picks up trash on her morning walk before school.
  • As record-breaking heatwaves hit many school districts across the state, about $200 million in state funding remains available for school districts looking to upgrade their air conditioning and ventilation systems. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31.
  • Three decades after graduating from El Toro High School while his father served as principal, Dr. James Martin has returned to his roots to take on the same position this school year.
  • With the new school year underway, the Westminster School District has witnessed its first class of students from the Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion Program graduate to middle school since the program began at Demille Elementary School in 2015.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.