Feature Stories

Thirty-one Minnetonka High School Seniors Named 2020 National Merit Semifinalists
Thirty-one Minnetonka High School Seniors Named 2020 National Merit Semifinalists

A record-setting 31 Minnetonka High School seniors have been named 2020 National Merit Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. This is the largest group of National Merit Semifinalists in Minnetonka Public Schools history, overtaking the District's 2019's record of 26 semifinalists. These students scored among the nation's best on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) taken during their junior year.

Superintendent Dr. Dennis Peterson said, "To have so many students achieve the significant honor of being National Merit Semifinalists this year is just outstanding. When we look back over the years, we've grown from two students accomplishing this feat to now a record-breaking 31 students. I am so proud of each and every one of them."

"This honor recognizes the incredibly hard work students have exerted throughout their school career, as well as their focus on excelling in academics," said Minnetonka High School Principal Jeff Erickson.

Congratulations to the following students in the Class of 2020: Macie Anundson, Alexander Arnold, Ryan Benson, Jacob Bridge, Julian Calder, Jai Chadha, Griffin Dobbins, Jacob Dominski, Marianna Helgeson, Michael Holcomb, Levi Hoogendoorn, Sterre Hoogendoorn, Gunnar Jagodzinske, Karsten Johnson, Thomas Lane, Jaden Ma, Maxwell Meyer, Owen Mischio, Quentin Mooney, Sophie Moore, Eli Quist, Mariana Rogan, Charles Roslansky, Julia Ruelle, Nathan Schneider, Skyler Seets, Ishan Sodhi, Sarah Stolar, Dylan Tahnk-Johnson, Gabrielle Tan and Anna Wander.

These seniors will be recognized by the Minnetonka School Board at the Thursday, October 3 meeting at the Minnetonka Schools District Service Center. At that time, each student will recognize two teachers who have made a significant impact on their education.

All Semifinalists will have an opportunity to continue the competition for approximately 7,500 National Merit Scholarships to be offered next spring. To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition.


Front row (l-r): Thomas Lane, Gabrielle Tan, Dylan Tahnk-Johnson, Sarah Stolar, Gunnar Jagodzinske, Mariana Rogan, Jacob Dominski, Skyler Seets

Second row (l-r): Marianna Helgeson, Jai Chadha, Sophie Moore, Macie Anundson, Anna Wander, Max Meyer, Julia Ruelle, Levi Hoogendoorn, Sterre Hoogendoorn, Karsten Johnson, Ryan Benson, Jaden Ma

Back row (l-r): Principal Jeff Erickson, Nathan Schneider, Jacob Bridge, Ishan Sodhi, Owen Mischio, Griffin Dobbins, Julian Calder, Alexander Arnold, Michael Holcomb, Quentin Mooney, Eli Quist, Charles Roslansky

About the National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)—which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

National Merit Scholarships

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2020. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 230 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor's employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2019 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join some 338,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. To learn more, visit www.nationalmerit.org

About Minnetonka Public Schools

Minnetonka School District is a high-performing public school district serving more than 11,000 students in early childhood and preschool through grade 12, with six elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school. Nestled on the southern shores of Lake Minnetonka and including all or parts of 10 communities, this suburban community is a district of choice, attracting more than 3,700 students from more than 45 school districts in Minnesota.

With outstanding academic achievement, Minnetonka School District is ranked first in Minnesota and 29th nationally by the ranking organization Niche.com, with its elementary, middle and high schools claiming first place in each of their respective categories, as well. Minnetonka Schools has also repeatedly been named to the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll for providing access to AP courses and improving scores on AP exams. Awards for fine arts include multiple Spotlight Awards, and the District has been named year over year among the NAMM Best Communities for Music Education. Learn more: www.minnetonkaschools.org


In this Section



Read more

Coach Nelson to Retire

Minnetonka Schools' head varsity football coach, Dave Nelson, who has led the Minnetonka Skippers for the past 18 years, is retiring.

New Website Translation Tool

Minnetonka Public Schools is pleased to announce that the district's website, and all individual school pages, will now be provide the ability for users to translate page content into one of several languages.