Categorized | Education

Sims named semifinalist in National Merit Scholarship Program


Zoe Sims, a senior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), has been named a semifinalist in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Martin Ferrell, HPA’s dean of academics, made the announcement.

Sims will continue in the competition for 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

Zoe Sims

Sims also has been recognized as AP Scholar with Distinction, which is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

Sims, the daughter of Neil and Kathryn Sims of Kailua-Kona, is an active member of the HPA community. She is student body president and served as student council representative for two years. She also serves on the school’s Honor Council.

In addition, Sims has written numerous articles for Ma Ke Kula, the school magazine, and North Hawaii News.

Sims is well known in the running community as one of the state’s top harriers. She was the 2011 individual BIIF champion and went on with her teammates to take the 2011 state championship.

In track, Sims won her first state title in 2011 in the 1500m; she also took second at states that year in the 400m. This year, she is a captain of the girls cross-country team

About 1.5 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2013 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July.

These scholarship recipients will join more than 291,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

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