Saint Viator’s National Merit Semifinalists Announced Today

Saint Viator High School proudly announces that four seniors were named National Merit Semifinalists today by officials with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. They are John Hutchinson, Peter McLeod, Omar Salinas, and Sophia Stuber.
They are among the academically talented high school seniors who have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.
“The achievement of these students -- that is, to be recognized as the best of the best -- is not only a source of pride for their families but for their teachers, classmates, and Saint Viator High School. says Principal Jon Baffico. “Their efforts are another prime example of the outstanding and rigorous academic environment that our faculty and staff provide for our students and their families. This recognition is another reason we are all proud to be Lions!" 
These students are among a national pool of semifinalists who represent less than 1% of high school seniors and are among the highest-scoring entrants in each state. But as Saint Viator students they are also well-rounded and excel in and out of the classroom.
  • John Hutchison is a Querbes Scholar, who competes in cross country and lacrosse, but he also has been elected to the Student Council, is a member of the National Honor Society and he competes on the Scholastic Bowl team. He also completed nine Advanced Placement courses over his four years.
  • Peter “P.J.” McLeod also runs cross country, but he has competed in JV football and lacrosse. He and his twin brother, Finn, are both Eagle Scouts, and P.J. competes on the Scholastic Bowl team and is a member of the National Honor Society. He completed eight AP courses over his four years.
  • Omar Salinas played golf his freshman and sophomore years, but as a Querbes Scholar, he concentrated on STEM-designated courses while participating on the Scholastic Bowl team and in the Coding Club. He was elected to Student Council and is a member of the National Honor Society, all while taking eight AP courses.

  • Sophia Stuber sang in the choir and participated in the tech crew for the annual play and musical, before running track each spring. As a Querbes Scholar, she also concentrated on STEM-designated courses, while mentoring underclassmen as a LINK leader and FIRE Crew ambassador. She too is a member of the National Honor Society and has taken seven AP courses.
These students were named semifinalists based on their PSAT scores taken in 2022, when they were sophomores. More than 90% of semifinalists advance to become a finalist.
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist's academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. 
A semifinalist 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 earlier performance on the qualifying test.
National Merit Scholars are selected from this group based on their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. National Merit Scholarship winners will begin to be announced in April.

Saint Viator High School

Located in Arlington Heights, IL, Saint Viator High School is a private, co-ed, Catholic school for grades 9-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.