Columbus Academy has a dozen students who have qualified as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced on Sept. 13 the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Bob Lee, Columbus Academy's director of communications and marketing, said 13 students from the school were named semifinalists but one student -- Sanna Symer -- is no longer enrolled at the school because she and her family moved to Houston, Texas.

The semifinalists include:

* Sebastian J, Bergman, son of Bruno and Sarah Bergman of New Albany.

His interests include working at the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany, running Dungeons & Dragons campaigns and organizing the Victorian International Politics Simulator student club.

* Michael P. Boeckman, son of Ron and Ann Boeckman of Bexley.

His interests are chemistry, choir, football, lacrosse and playing with his dog.

* Christopher J. Heermann, son of Stephen and Deanna Heermann of Westerville.

His interests include photography, cross country, swimming and backpacking.

* Abigail J. Jeffers, daughter of Jeff and Amelia Jeffers of New Albany.

Her interests include music, journalism, photography and ceramics.

* Kieran D. Law, son of Andrew Law and Katie Rentel of Newark.

His interests are soccer, piano, working on technology projects and reading about current events.

* Jane Z. Li, daughter of Chaoyang Li and Yunling Zhou of New Albany.

Her interests include swimming, journalism, reading and coaching Special Olympics.

* Taylor A. McGowan, daughter of Jeffrey McGowan and Jacqueline Amico of Galena.

Her interests include theater, playwriting, piano, music composition, figure skating and foreign languages, including Latin.

* Sarah E. Morris, daughter of Andrew and Stacey Morris of Granville.

Her interests include music, orchid care, reading, drawing and cooking.

* Randy Yan, son of Zhongcheng Yan and Minglan Hu of Delaware.

His interests are soccer, robotics, playing piano in the jazz band and computer science.

* Andy Zhang, son of Zhanhui Zhang and Yang Cao of New Albany.

His interests include piano, Science Olympiad, Quiz Bowl, debate and violin.

* Austin M. Zhang, son of Xifeng Zhang and Cathy Song of Powell.

His interests are programming, basketball, robotics, investing and music.

* Zachary Z. Zhou, son of Yu Zhou and Li Chen of Dublin.

His interests include painting, programming, Latin and swimming.

These semifinalists now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to become finalists, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation.

All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists.

Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla