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Owens, Caraway named National Merit semifinalists

OXFORD+SCHOOL+DISTRICT%0APictured+%28left+to+right%29+are+Kayla+Owens+and+Joshua+Caraway%2C+Oxford+High+School+seniors+who+are+among+seniors+nationwide+to+be+named+Semifinalists+in+the+2016+National+Merit+Scholarship+Program.%0A
OXFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT
Pictured (left to right) are Kayla Owens and Joshua Caraway, Oxford High School seniors who are among seniors nationwide to be named Semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.

OXFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT Pictured (left to right) are Kayla Owens and Joshua Caraway, Oxford High School seniors who are among seniors nationwide to be named Semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.

OXFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT Pictured (left to right) are Kayla Owens and Joshua Caraway, Oxford High School seniors who are among seniors nationwide to be named Semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Christie Forgette

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                                                                                                                                                                                OXFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT
Pictured (left to right) are Kayla Owens and Joshua Caraway, Oxford High School seniors who are among seniors nationwide to be named Semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Late nights. Practice tests. And sharpened pencils.

Oxford High seniors Kayla Owens and Joshua Caraway are among 16,000 high school students nationwide named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Semifinalists are chosen based on their scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) in their junior year.  Students from each state who score the highest on the exam are awarded semifinalist status.  Scores are proportional to each state’s percentage of total senior graduates each year.

Owens and Caraway received their scores at the end of their junior year but found out at the end of October that they were semifinalists.  The cutoff score for semifinalists changes from year to year, and this year the cutoff score in Mississippi was a 209.  Both felt a sense of accomplishment after learning they were semifinalists.

“When I found out I was a semifinalist, it felt really satisfying to know that I had worked hard and was now being rewarded for it,” Owens said.

“It was nice,” Caraway said.  “I was glad that I was able to earn the distinction.”

National Merit Finalists are chosen based on semifinalists’ SAT scores.  There are over 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered in the spring.

Superintendent Brian Harvey is proud of Owens and Caraway and believes that their success reflects the hard work and dedication teachers in the Oxford School District give.

“We are proud of the work that these two students have accomplished throughout their academic career in the Oxford School District,” Harvey said.  “Each year this one academic accomplishment of students is a measure of how good our teachers are throughout the Oxford School District.  We are proud of the students and their teachers.”

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Owens, Caraway named National Merit semifinalists