CHS Students Named Semifinalists in 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program

Carmel High School seniors Ryan Doherty and Greta Vaughn have been named semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Semifinalists are the highest scoring program entrants in each state and represent the top 0.5 percent of the nearly 4 million students across the nation who took the exam. Doherty and Vaughn are among 16,000 seniors who remain in the competition in hopes of advancing to finalist standing and receiving a National Merit Scholarship.  

In order to advance, they must meet high academic standards and other requirements set forth by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Semifinalists will be notified in February 2022 if they have advanced to the Finalist standing. 

In addition to the two semi-finalists, Carmel High School has an additional six students who were honored as National Merit Commended Students in the program. These students placed among the top 50,000 highest scores of the PSAT exam.  

Carmel High School National Merit Commended Scholars include Jack Boeheim, Wyatt Brenneman, Juliette Cox, Deirdre Farrell, Nicholas Oster and Jaclyn Repanti. 

Learn more about our two semi-finalists, Ryan Doherty and Greta Vaughn: 

Ryan Doherty

 Ryan Doherty How did it feel to find out you had been named a semi-finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program? 
I was very relieved! I knew from my scores that I had a good chance to be named a semifinalist, but it was definitely a relief when I heard I was named. It is an honor to be named a semifinalist and have the opportunity to receive merit scholarships. 

How did you prepare for the SAT? 
The biggest piece of advice for preparation is practice test after practice test. I took probably 30 practice tests in the six months that I studied on and off for the SAT. It helped me to keep a journal with the questions that I got wrong and then make corrections. 

What are your plans for next year? 
I hope to attend a university. I plan to study biochemistry, public health, or sociology. 

What is your dream career? 
My dream career right now would be a biomedical research professor; however, I am open to a variety of fields including health law and biotechnology. 

During your time at Carmel High School, what is one class/who is one teacher that affected you the most and why? 
The class that has affected me the most is either Science Research or English 9H. I have had so many amazing opportunities through Science Research, including attending summer research programs and working on my own original research. I have had a lot of freedom to explore my interests in public health and biochemistry. It is definitely one of the best classes to take at Carmel High School. English 9H with Ms. D’arco made me fall in love with writing and literature. Throughout freshman year, I improved my writing tremendously, and I even see its impact today. Both classes have truly changed the course of my life, and I could not be more grateful for them. 

What clubs/extra-curricular activities are you involved in at CHS or in the community? 
Some of my extracurricular activities include being captain of the Varsity Cross Country/Track team, co-president of National Honors Society, president of Science Club, and president of Novelly. 

Do you have any advice for other students? 
My biggest piece of advice is to be willing to find and take advantage of all the opportunities at Carmel High School. There are so many, and every teacher is supportive of your endeavors. If you are willing to put in the work, you can take classes like Science Research and change the course of your life. When you put the effort into improving outside the classroom, teachers will be nothing but supportive and help push you to your goals. Never be afraid to ask for help because it shows that you care about improvement, which is more important than innately succeeding in a class. 

Greta Vaughn

 Greta Vaughn How did it feel to find out you had been named a semi-finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program? 
I was called into the guidance office in the middle of the day, and I was absolutely terrified. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out why I was there. My guidance counselor sat me down and said, “I just got off the phone with your mom” and my heart completely dropped. Thankfully, he got to the point and explained that I had been named a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist. I was completely delighted. I knew this accomplishment was a possibility and achieving it was extremely gratifying. 

How did you prepare for the PSAT? 
I am an avid reader and strong English student therefore the SAT English section has always been a challenge I enjoy approaching. Math took more effort. I was supported by multiple math teachers and spent quite a bit of time using online resources to improve my mathematical ability.  

What are your plans for next year? 
Next year, I am hoping to attend Williams College or a similar liberal arts school and begin to study on a Pre-Law track. 

What is your dream career? 
For now, my dream career is to be a corporate lawyer.   

What clubs/extra-curricular activities are you involved in at CHS or in the community? 
I have been a member of the Carmel track and cross-country teams since 7th grade, and I enjoy leading the yearbook club as the senior Editor-in-Chief. 

Do you have any advice for other students? 
Start studying early. Make your educational habits productive and regular.