Four Bexley High School seniors have joined about 16,000 of their peers across the country as National Merit semifinalists.

Four Bexley High School seniors have joined about 16,000 of their peers across the country as National Merit semifinalists.

Nearly 1.5-million students enter the competition by taking the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test during their junior year of high school.

Seniors Cecilia Burke, Sarah Fedner, Eric Sachs and Tyler Kennedy have received the honor this year and are eligible to compete to be Merit Scholars.

Burke said she is undecided about where to attend college next year, but knows she wants to stay involved with music and art. She also said she hopes to study anthropology.

At school, she is involved in orchestra, art club and is a co-founder of the Bexley Creative Writers Coalition, a group of students who get together to read and critique each other's writing.

"We've been trying to make it (the coalition) as professional as possible," Burke said. "We don't want it to be just another high school club."

Fedner, who also has not picked a college, said she hopes to study English and Spanish and possibly teach the subjects one day.

She said as of now, she is looking at Kenyon College, the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis.

Fedner plays the flute in the band and orchestra and is a member of the art club.

Outside school, she acts as her chapter's vice president of BBYO, a Jewish youth organization.

Sachs said he is looking at Ivy League schools such as Yale and Columbia. He said he also is going to apply to Ohio State.

"I'm planning on going to college, I just don't know where yet," he said.

Sachs, a staff writer for The Torch student newspaper, also has held positions in his BBYO chapter.

Kennedy said he is looking at Stanford, Wake Forest and Ohio State universities.

The varsity cross-country captain also is a member of the track team and the environmental club.

He said he is currently trying to focus on what's left of his senior year.

"I'm trying to enjoy what time we have left," he said.

He said the applications for National Merit finalists are due to the school counselors by Oct. 10.

"You just have to fill out a bunch of information, write an essay about yourself and have a teacher recommendation," he said.

On Feb. 10, 15,000 National Merit finalists will be notified of their positions. Out of the finalists, 8,200 students are chosen as Merit Scholars.

Those who reach the level of Merit Scholars receive corporate or college-sponsored scholarships to the schools of their choice.

High school principal John Kellogg said he is always proud when the semifinalists are announced.

"We have a good number of students who hover around that point," he said about the students' PSAT scores. "We are certainly proud of the work they have done and the accomplishments they have made."

gmartineau@thisweeknews.com