desk stock file photo school

During a tour of the West Jefferson High School with coronavirus precautions it can be seen that each desk in the classroom has a grey or red sticker on the top corner in Harvey, La. Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. Each period, students will be asked to alternate their use of desks and to clean them off after each class. The school is scheduled to open on August 26. (Photo by Max Becherer,, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

High school seniors from south Louisiana captured 63 of the 75 Louisiana scholarships announced Wednesday as part of the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The latest Louisiana winners were announced Wednesday. They join 38 announced in April and May. A final batch of winners will be announced July 12. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,500 students nationwide will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million.

The number of scholarship winners in Louisiana announced so far this year, 123, is down from the 155 scholarship winners last year at this point in the cycle. Ultimately 163 were named in 2020.

The scholarships announced Wednesday range from $500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study. They are being paid for by the colleges and universities these students plan to attend this fall. Previous announcements involved scholarships funded by corporations as well as by the National Merit scholarship program itself.

The only south Louisiana winner announced Wednesday who is not from the Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans metro areas is Brandon Nguyen of Houma, a student at Vandebilt Catholic High in Houma.

The school with the most National Merit scholarship recipients over the three rounds so far is Caddo Parish Magnet High in Shreveport with 10. Following close behind are Baton Rouge Magnet with nine and Ben Franklin High in New Orleans with eight.

Across the state, 21 high schools have two or more scholarship winners thus far. The recently announced winners: 


Lafayette High: Seth G. Meaux of Scott and Wesley J. Mire of Lafayette.

St. Thomas More Catholic High in Lafayette: Marshall T. Martin and Catherine Whitehead, both of Lafayette.

Other winners: Avery G. Franques of Abbeville, North Vermilion High in Maurice; Heather R. Green of Abbeville, Erath High; Luke A. LeGoullon of Youngsville, Episcopal School Of Acadiana in Broussard; Charlie B. Mahana of Lafayette, Ascension Episcopal School in Youngsville; and Lucien Schoolmaster of Lafayette, Early College Academy in Lafayette.


Baton Rouge Magnet High: Varun Dhaka, Colin W. Herke, Andrew Nguyen, Tommy T. Nguyen and Lanie G. Wang, all of Baton Rouge.

Catholic High in Baton Rouge: Bailey A. Faulk, Adam P. Grissom, Noah K. Hixson, Jacob M. LeBlanc and Christian J. Thompson. All are from Baton Rouge, except Hixson who is from Denham Springs.

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Episcopal High in Baton Rouge: Matthew T. Bickham of Baton Rouge, Evan J. Jurkovic of Baton Rouge, Connor W. Porthouse of Baton Rouge, Bethany S. Reid of Gonzales and Katherine A. Scarton of Prairieville.

Other winners: Niles A. Babin of Baton Rouge, LSU Lab School in Baton Rouge; Caroline E. Cantu of Denham Springs, Denham Springs High; Natalie M. Creel of Zachary, Zachary High; and Abigail M. Evans of Prairieville, Dutchtown High in Geismar.


Archbishop Hannan High in Covington: Sarah Burvant of Mandeville and Marie-Claire Honoree of Hammond.

Ben Franklin High in New Orleans: Ronan A. McDade, Adam J. Raslan, Susan Tang and Michael R. Zengel, all New Orleans.

Brother Martin High in New Orleans: Francis M. DiSalvo of New Orleans and Jared J. Pelegrin of Kenner.

Fontainebleau High in Mandeville: Andrew M. Daniel of Mandeville and Jackson T. Heap of Abita Springs.

Haynes Academy For Advanced Studies in Metairie: Alex Wang and Paul Yeon, both of Metairie.

Jesuit High in New Orleans: Christopher Ciaccio of New Orleans, Kohlmann R. Moore of Metairie, Connor J. Myers of Destrehan and Garrison L. Trahant of Metairie.

Mandeville High: Jackson E. Cantrell and Drake M. Dunaway, both of Mandeville.

Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Harvey: Colin P. Doherty of Marrerro and Janee D. Kovacs of Harvey.

St. Paul’s School in Covington: Lucca A. Ferrante of Mandeville, Gabriel C. Gros of Mandeville, Jake M. Holincheck of Covington and Brady M. Talley of Madisonville.

Other winners: Renee A. Angerer of River Ridge, St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie; Carson W. Cooper of Mandeville, Lakeshore High in Mandeville; Margaret A. Dunn of Metairie, Mt. Carmel Academy in New Orleans; Caroline A. Evans of Metairie, Academy Of The Sacred Heart in New Orleans; Benjamin M. Gancarz-Davies of New Orleans, Lusher Charter School in New Orleans; Anna C. Nussbaum of Metairie, Archbishop Chapelle High of Metairie; Austin K. Passler of New Orleans, Isidore Newman School in New Orleans; Cameron M. Sitton of Slidell, Slidell High; Gabrielle R. Uson of Madisonville, Christ Episcopal School of Covington; and Bowen K. Williamson of Loranger, home-school.

Email Charles Lussier at and follow him on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.