Eleven Bexley High School students have been named National Merit semifinalists.

Eleven Bexley High School students have been named National Merit semifinalists.

"This is a little more than normal," principal John Kellogg said.

Since he tracks the academic performance of each class, Kellogg said, he knew the class of 2010 had the potential to score well on tests and perform well academically.

The student body is full of hardworking students, Kellogg said, supported by a great community and fantastic teachers. The district has worked hard to raise the bar and encourage students to stretch themselves academically, he said.

According to a news release issued by the school district, about 6.5 percent of the class of 168 seniors has earned National Merit semifinalist status.

The National Merit Scholarship program honors about 16,000 semifinalists who compete for recognition and scholarships. High school students enter the program by taking the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

The students advance to finalist by meeting high academic standards and obtaining a recommendation from their high school principal.

Bexley High School's semifinalists are:

Jacob Beech, the son of Doug Beech and Amy Stearns. He is co-editor of the student newspaper. His main areas of interest are science and journalism. Beech has not decided on his post-graduation plans.

Laura Bloch, the daughter of Dan and Nicki Bloch. She has been involved in field hockey and Key Club. She is currently undecided about her major or college.

Evan Darwin, the son of Robert and Beverly Darwin. He participates in the high school's vocal ensemble and theatre programs, plays on the golf team and serves on The Torch staff. He is interested in pre-med, pre-law, political science, engineering or biology at Duke University, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University, Princeton University or Wake Forest University.

Hallie Dolin, the daughter of Jason and Lisa Dolin. She is co-captain of the Bexley High School academic quiz team, In the Know. She hopes to study biology and environmental science; English and creative writing and theatre and singing. She may attend Case Western Reserve University, Denison University, Goucher College or Lawrence College.

David Hahn, the son of Victor and Margaret Hahn. He performs with the high school's vocal ensemble and marching band. He is interested in studying chemistry at St. Olaf College or Princeton University.

Graham Horn, son of David Horn and Victoria Powers. He is involved in Bexley's theatre arts program. His main areas of interest are history and political science. He is applying to Yale University, Columbia University, New York University and Northwestern University.

Erin Kellogg, daughter of John and Kim Kellogg. She is president of the women's chorale and treasurer of Key Club. Her academic interests include international relations, writing and literature. She is considering several colleges including American University and the College of William and Mary.

Matt Kirschner, the son of Lawrence and Evelyn Kirschner. He is considering applying to Princeton University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study math and physical science.

Nathaniel Pelz. the son of Jonathan and Elaine Pelz. He is interested in psychology and music and may apply to Tufts University, Yale University, Stanford University or Washington University.

Jesse Vogel, son of Steve Vogel and Jane Henderson. He is interested in studying history, English or politics and is looking at several small, liberal-arts schools. He is also co-editor of The Torch.

Brian Yost, son of Nathan and Susan Yost. He is interested in studying mechanical engineering at Stanford, Northwestern, Dexel University or Ohio State University.