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Students hop off a school bus on Highland Road near Lee Drive, Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La.

High school seniors from the New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas have captured 34 of the 40 Louisiana scholarships announced so far as part of the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Thirty-three winners were announced Wednesday, joining seven who were announced April 21.

More winners are being announced June 3 and July 13. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,600 students nationwide will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million.

The scholarships announced Wednesday are a flat amount of $2,500 each and, with one exception, they are being financed by the organizers of the National Merit scholarship program. Scholarships announced April 21 are funded by corporations and their value ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 a year.

More winners are being announced June 3 and July 13. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,600 students nationwide will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million.

Two New Orleans high schools leading the way statewide in National Merit scholarship recipients over the first two rounds: Jesuit with six, and Ben Franklin with four.

In Baton Rouge, three high schools are tied with three scholarship recipients each: Baton Rouge Magnet, Catholic and St. Joseph’s Academy.

Here are the 20 New Orleans metro area winners, including four from the North Shore:

Dominic T. Allain, Salmen High in Slidell; Christopher N. Barron, Northshore High in Slidell; Andre R. Bourque, Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in Natchitoches; Tomaso H. Dire, Ben Franklin High; Olympia R. Baldwin Edwards, Ben Franklin High; Mary Grace Foster, Lusher Charter School in New Orleans; Charlotte L. Fowler, Ursuline Academy in New Orleans; Emily C. Gibbons, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Westwego; John M. Gunaldo, Jesuit High; Salma Ashraf Heram, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Westwego; Thomas S. Levy, Jesuit High; Milan Mardia, Jesuit High; Hayes T. Martin, Jesuit High; Christian T. Nguyen, Jesuit High; Amanda L. Phillips, Fountainebleau High in Mandeville; Dominic J. Stoner, Jesuit High; Hayley E. Sumich, Mt. Carmel Academy in New Orleans; Joseph V. Wagner, Ben Franklin High; Charlotte C. Williams, Isidore Newman School in New Orleans; and David Y. Zhang, Ben Franklin High. Eight live in New Orleans, and the rest reside in locales across the metro area.

Here are the 12 Baton Rouge region winners: Sophie K. Faircloth, Denham Springs High; Nicholas M. Fanguy, Catholic High; Celia A. Kiesel, Episcopal High; Joshua J. Langlois, Catholic High; Sara G. Mayeux, St. Joseph’s Academy; Krishna R. Pochana, Baton Rouge Magnet High; Adam Lowery Reid, Episcopal High; Shreya V. Reshamwala, St. Joseph’s Academy; Stewart A. Roeling, Catholic High; Amy E. Ruckman, Baton Rouge Magnet High; Thuc Nhan N. Tran, St. Joseph’s Academy; and Cindy Y. Zheng, Baton Rouge Magnet High. Nine are residents of Baton Rouge. Of the other three recipients, Faircloth lives in Denham Springs, Mayeux is in Prairieville and Reid is in Gonzales. All but Faircloth attend schools in Baton Rouge.

And there are two Acadiana winners so far: William W. Brien, who attends Ascension Episcopal School, and Dylan C. Davis, who attends Southside High. Both schools are in Youngsville. Brien lives in Lafayette and Davis lives in Broussard.

National Merit scholarship winners this year were drawn from a pool of 16,000 semifinalists and 15,000 finalists. They were among more than 1.5 million juniors who took the PSAT standardized test in October 2018.


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