DISD Students Selected for National Merit Scholarship Program

By Allana J. Barefield 
Staff Writer 

The National Merit Scholarship Program has named 15 Dallas Independent School District Students of the 16,000 semifinalists.

This is the 66 annual event and is sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The organization awards students who have been excelling in their classroom. 

In order to become a finalist, each student and their high school had to submit information to show how the person is a leader at their school but also in their community. Each school submitted the student’s grades, community activities, leadership roles and employment. 

Daniella S. Castanheira/Photo Courtesy of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

About 15,000 students are expected to advance to the final stage in February. The winners will be selected next year between April and July. 

The selected semifinalists came from four schools which are School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Woodrow Wilson High School and School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center. 

Dr. Scott Rudes/Photo Courtesy of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

Dr. Scott Rudes, Booker T. Washington principal, said he is ecstatic that his student, Daniella S. Castanheira, was selected as a semi-finalist.

“Daniella is one of our visual arts seniors at Booker T. and she is the personification of what a scholar artist is,” Rudes said. “It’s a result of a lot of hard work and I am just very proud of her.”