Eleven students from Faulkner County have been named National Merit Semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

This year there were 16,000 semifinalists in the nation. The 11 students now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $33 million.

Conway High School students Joseph R. Coker, Zelda M. Engeler-Young, Megan R. Haase, Kate M. Lange, Eric D. Pinter, Gary (Nick) Stillwell, Jillian Tang and Kevin Trickey were selected as 2017 semifinalists. Michael Oluokun, Andrew Burroughs and Ryan Leggitt, three students from Greenbrier High School, were also chosen.

Greenbrier High School Principal Steve Landers said the district is proud of his three students who were selected as semifinalists.

"They are products of great families and a tremendous Greenbrier faculty," he said.

Jason Lawrence, Conway High School’s principal, said he was really proud of the eight chosen from CHS.

"This is a reflection of our school community, the teachers, counselors, parents and everyone else involved with these students," he said. "Their focus, determination and willingness to go above and beyond is incredible. They have great things ahead of them."

To be considered for a merit scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill certain requirements to advance to finalists including continuing to meet high academic standards. Ninety percent of semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing and about half will win a National Merit Scholarship, according to a news release from CHS.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation was created in 1955 for the National Merit Scholarship Program. The nonprofit identifies students with academic ability and recognizes their potential for success.

(Staff writer Hilary Andrews can be reached by email at hilary.andrews@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. )