September 30, 2021

Seven Students Representing Six Archdiocesan High Schools Named Semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit® Scholarship Program

Seven students representing six Archdiocesan high schools throughout the five-county region recently learned that they were named Semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit® Scholarship Program.

These exceptional students are among approximately 16,000 to earn this distinction in the 67th annual National Merit® Scholarship Program. They have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered in spring 2022.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalists along with their high school, must submit a scholarship application detailing the individual student academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.   Semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s previous performance on their qualifying test.

Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott, I.H.M., Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer and Superintendent of Secondary Schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said, “On behalf of my colleagues in the Office of Catholic Education and our partners in Catholic education, I extend prayerful congratulations to our young scholars for their hard work and achievement in being recognized as a Semifinalist in the National Merit® Scholarship Program.” Sister continued, “This recognition is a testament to the dedication and tireless efforts of the students and all who support their educational journey including their families, teachers, and administrators. They are a shining example of those who benefit from the vital ministry of Catholic education in the Archdiocese.”

Those individuals with asterisks after their names are in the Connelly Foundation Neumann Scholars Program. Initiated in 1995, this scholarship program identifies academically talented eighth grade students through an independently administered competitive examination and provides four year scholarships to attend any Archdiocesan high school. 

Archbishop Ryan High School

Joseph Tangradi*

Archbishop Wood High School

Cesar Guerra-Solano

Bishop Shanahan High School

Leah M. Baker*

Grace E. Watson*

Cardinal O’Hara High School

Haley E. Garecht

Lansdale Catholic High School

Elijah Wagner

Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School

Nicholas Barbi

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Editor’s Note:

For additional information on the National Merit® Scholarship Program, please visit NMSC website.

For more information on Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit  For more information on Faith in the Future Foundation, please visit


Meredith Wilson
Media and Events Specialist