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Three seniors named National Merit semifinalists

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AnMei Little, William Fussell and Alex Ficarro. SUBMITTED

Pope John Paul II High School seniors Alexandria Ficarro, William Fussell and AnMei Little have been named National Merit Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program, according to Karen Phillips, Assistant Headmaster and Dean of Students at JPII. This is the largest number of National Merit Semifinalists from any school in Sumner County.

Alexandria Ficarro, a Davidson Academy alumna and member of Long Hollow Baptist Church, is a basketball cheerleader, Lead Ambassador, a member of the Teen Read advisory, the JPII Rock Band, and the Mass choir. She is also a founding member of the Sign Language Club, which she helped start during her sophomore year. Ficarro is currently taking five AP classes and has made the Headmaster's List every quarter during her tenure at JPII. She is interested in attending Baylor University, Furman University and Belmont University after graduation.

William Fussell was home schooled before attending JPII. He is now the President of the Game Club, a member of the Robotics Team and Science Olympiad and acted in JPII's performances of Romeo and Juliet and Shrek. William is currently taking four AP classes and is interested in joining the engineering program at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the University of Indiana, or the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga next fall.

AnMei Little, a Merrol Hyde Magnet School alumna and member of Christ Church Cathedral, is President of the National Honor Society, Vice President of the Veritas Council, a Lead Ambassador, Captain of the Knights Girls' Soccer Team, and a member of the National Art Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, the JPII Math Team, Model UN, the Science Olympiad team and the Knights Indoor Soccer Team. Outside of JPII, AnMei is a member of the Tennessee United Soccer Club, attended the Tennessee Governor's School for the Sciences and Engineering and was an Optometry Intern at the Kelly Vision Center. She has been named a JPII Scholar and has made the Headmaster's List every quarter during her tenure at JPII. She is undecided on where she would like to attend college after graduation.

"These students have shown outstanding aptitude in the classroom since they stepped onto campus," said Phillips. "Their work ethic and skills in the classroom represent the level of talent for which these tests and the National Merit Scholarship Program are searching. We are very proud of them."

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test--which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year--and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

Of the 1.6 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Of those 50,000, only 16,000 are named National Merit Semifinalists. These Semifinalists will now compete to become a National Merit Finalist, which will be announced in February of 2018.

Since 2005, over 85 students have received commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Founded in 2002, Pope John Paul II High School is a college preparatory Catholic high school in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The school serves over 560 students across the Middle Tennessee area. For more information, visit www.jp2hs.org.

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