Four Pickerington high school seniors are among approximately 16,000 students nationwide to be named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

Four Pickerington high school seniors are among approximately 16,000 students nationwide to be named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

Pickerington High School Central students Annie Curie, Noah Taylor and Josh Wiseman and Pickerington High School North student ChristinaCiccone were selected as semifinalists earlier this month.

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 a test that serves as an initial screening of approximately 1.5-million entrants each year and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.

Semifinalists are the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The National Merit Scholarship Corp. provides scholarship application materials to semifinalists through their high schools.

To be considered for a National Merit scholarship, semifinalists must advance to finalist standing by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements explained in the information provided to each semifinalist.

Curie, 17, is the daughter of Tim and Brenda Curie. She is a member of the PHS track team, National Honor Society, Team Physics, Rites of Passage, French Club and Nellie's Club.

Curie cited AP physics as her favorite class, and she hopes to study food science, chemical engineering or journalism after graduation. She currently is undecided on a college.

"I was ecstatic," Curie said of being named a NMSC semifinalist. "It opens so many doors for college."

Ciccone, 18, is the daughter of Michael and Kathleen Ciccone.

She is a member of National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, In the Know and played tennis at North for three years. She is also involved in her church.

Ciccone said AP biology is her favorite class, and she is considering Ohio Northern University, The Ohio State University or Butler University, where she plans to study pharmacy or engineering.

"(I) was thrilled and excited at being named a National Merit semifinalist," Ciccone said. "I felt honored to be recognized."

Taylor, 17, is the son of Doug Taylor and Jill Schellhase. He is a member of the Central Marching Tigers, In the Know and Chess Club.

Taylor did not have a favorite class, but he plans to attend MIT after graduation and study math.

He said he expected to be named a National Merit semifinalist, in part because both his parents and his older brother earned the honor.

"I was not that surprised," he said. "It was more of a 'when' will the notice come than a 'will' the notice come."

Wiseman, 17, is the son of Ray and Sharon Wiseman.

He is a member of the Central Marching Tigers, In the Know, Musical Pit, Chess Club, National Honor Society and German Club, and his favorite class is calculus.

After graduation, Wiseman hopes to attend a four-year university. He said he's leaning toward OSU, where he might study bio-chemical engineering.

"I felt much more confident about my future," he said, after being named a semifinalist.