Reynoldsburg High School students Marcus Andrews and Erica McGriff have been named semifinalists in two separate National Merit Scholarship Corp. programs.

Reynoldsburg High School students Marcus Andrews and Erica McGriff have been named semifinalists in two separate National Merit Scholarship Corp. programs.

Andrews is a semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship program, which was established in 1955 to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

McGriff was named a semifinalist in the 2012 National Achievement Scholarship program, established in 1964 to recognize academically promising black students throughout the nation.

RHS guidance counselor Amy Cox said the two are exceptional students who have worked hard to receive the recognition.

“Erica is a fantastic student. She’s taking college classes this quarter at Ohio State University’s Newark campus, she’s active in band, she’s a really good student,” Cox said.

“Marcus is another fantastic student. He’s also taking classes at Ohio State, he plays hockey in his spare time, and he’s real interested in government and social studies É he’s a neat kid,” she said.

McGriff, daughter of Evelyn and Robert Jennings, said she is very proud to receive the National Achievement Scholarship recognition.

“I worked hard and I studied a lot É it’s nice. It will definitely be nice to put on college applications,” McGriff said.

She has played alto saxophone in the high school marching band for the past four years, is involved in the school’s Bible study and is also a member of the National Honor Society.

McGriff said she is not sure which college or university she will attend, but is applying at Ohio State, Case Western Reserve University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina. She wants to study bio-medical engineering.

“One of the things that has been interesting to me is imaging, like making hip-joint replacements,” McGriff said.

“I went to engineering camp the summer after my freshman year, and really didn’t want to go,” she said, “but each day was a different discipline and I ended up going to the bio-medical one and loved it.”

Andrews, son of Debbie and Ron Andrews, said he enjoys writing and is a big fan of history and humanities.

He also plays stand-up acoustic bass in the high school orchestra, is a member of the National Honor Society and plays high school club hockey.

Andrews plans to attend Ohio State University after he graduates in June to study journalism.

“It’s where I feel I can make a really big difference in the world. I’ve always had a decent talent for writing, and I feel it’s somewhere where I can just do a good thing and move the world forward and make a big difference,” Andrews said.

He said outside of school, he enjoys Ohio State football and hockey, and recently has been paying a lot of attention to politics, particularly State Issue 2 on the ballot Nov. 8.

As for being name a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, Andrews said he is proud.

“It’s something I’ve really looked forward to trying to get, ever since my brother (Jack Andrews) got it four years ago. It’s a great big achievement for me,” he said.

To become finalists, Andrews and McGriff must maintain an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test, according to an NMSC press release.

Each semifinalist and a high school official must then submit a detailed scholarship application that includes the student’s self-descriptive essay and information about his or her participation and leadership in school and community activities.