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Five Norfolk Academy seniors, Van Deans, Jacob Ezieme, Ann Gray Golpira, Zachary Harbison, and Zoë Jones, have been recognized as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Less than 1% of high school seniors from across the country earn this honor. Students gained consideration through their performance on the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

In addition to their academic successes, all five NA seniors perform in a number of extracurricular activities.

  • Van is the Tunstall Honor Council President. He also plays soccer, basketball, and lacrosse and served the past few summers as a Virginia Beach Lifeguard. 
  • Jacob has served on the set crew for the Winter Musical and plays; is a captain on the school Robotics Team; has been a member of the Sci-fi Club; and earned his black belt at King Tiger Martial Arts.
  • Ann Gray is an accomplished musician who has performed in numerous school productions and on her own at venues around the nation; she has also written her own music. She has also won several medals on the National Latin Exam, plays lacrosse in the spring, and is a member of the Norfolk Academy TEAMS competition.
  • Zachary Harbison is a varsity swimmer and has been on the backstage crew for numerous NA theater productions. He is in the Sci-fi, Spanish, Robotics, and Latin clubs to name a few. 
  • Zoë has played the piano, been in the orchestra, and performed in theater productions throughout Upper School; has been in the CARE, Robotics, Outreach, UNITiD, and PRISM clubs; helped NA's TEAMS competition earn state honors; and has served as a tutor. She has also competed on the crew team.

Semifinalists can apply to become finalists, a group that will be announced in early 2023. To earn that honor, semifinalists and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application with academic information, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. They must have outstanding academic records throughout high school, receive a recommendation from a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Norfolk Academy has been fortunate to have numerous National Merit Finalists over the years. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from the group of Finalists. They are chosen on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, or religion. Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered next spring.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization, conducts the scholarship program. 

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