Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Two CCPS students named 2016 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Two Carroll County Public Schools' students have been named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program, which honors students who exhibit exceptional academic ability.

Amy Donna Bittler, a senior at South Carroll High School, and Ben Stringer from Westminster High School, were among approximately 16,000 semifinalists chosen. They will have the opportunity to continue in a competition for about 7,400 National Merit Scholarships totaling more than $32 million that will be awarded in the coming spring, according to a National Merit Scholarship Corporation news release.


Bittler is in the top 5 percent of her class at South Carroll High, according to a public schools news release.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and earned recognition as an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction from the College Board. She has participated on her high school's cross county and indoor track teams for four years, and is a member of the National Art Honor Society and the Photography Club, according to CCPS information.


Bittler is also a youth representative of the Volunteer Council for the Maryland Zoo, and works as an animal handler at the zoo. Her goal is to study environmental engineering in college.

Stringer has been a student at Westminster High since his junior year, where he has served as a math tutor and is a member of the Math Honor Society. In his spare time, he plays rugby with his travel team, the Marauders, according to CCPS information. He hopes to pursue a college degree in computer science or neuroscience.

Approximately 1.5 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools enter the National Merit Scholarship Program each year by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants, according to the NMSC press release. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest scoring test takers in each state. Finalists will be notified in February.