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Mathilde Fox-Smith. senior at West Feliciana High School, is a National Merit semi-finalist.

West Feliciana High senior Mathilde Fox-Smith has been recognized as a semifinalist in the National Merit Program, a news release said.

To earn this honor, Fox-Smith scored within the top 1% of all seniors on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, the release said. She now has the opportunity to become a finalist and compete for numerous scholarships.

As a senior at WFHS, Fox-Smith has achievements in academics, music, work, track and cross-country. Because of her high scores on Advanced Placement exams, Mathilde was recognized by College Board as an AP Scholar with Distinction. She has placed at district and state literary rally in numerous subject areas including government, French extemporaneous speaking and geometry. As part of the WFHS cross-country and track teams, Mathilde has placed at state several times.

Outside of the classroom, Fox-Smith plays the violin and has participated in the Louisiana Youth Orchestra and continues to play at her church, weddings and other events.

She also works at Grandmother’s Buttons and interns at Picou Law Office. As a sophomore she attended a French high school for a semester for a full immersion experience.

Over 1.5 million juniors in approximately 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 PSAT/NMSQT, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants. Of the 1.5 million students, 16,000 were named semifinalists for being the highest-scoring entrants.

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 services, 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, and write an essay.

From approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.