The Dunham School is pleased to announce that senior Ciara Venable has been named a National Merit Semifinalist in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. In addition, senior Tre Landaiche has been named a National Merit Commended Student.
“We are so proud of these students and all that they continue to achieve. They are gifted students who maximize their potential with an unparalleled work ethic,” said Director of Upper School Amanda McIlwain. “These outstanding seniors embody the pursuit of excellence in all things which we value greatly at Dunham.”
Ciara, the daughter of Karen and the late Joseph E. Venable Jr., has been a Dunham student since kindergarten. With her eyes set on an undergraduate degree in finance followed by law school, Ciara’s top college choices include Vanderbilt University, LSU Honors College and University of Louisiana Lafayette Honors College.
“Dunham has taught me who I am. As I’ve walked through my years since kindergarten, Dunham has helped me to find my identity in Christ. As I step out into the bigger world, I know that I will be able to stand firm in my faith and have those honest conversations that come with that,” Ciara said.
“Dunham also helped me to become a hard worker who always wants to learn more. This recognition means that all my hard work is beginning to pay off. I am so honored to be recognized and excited to see what the future holds,” she added.
A student at Dunham since the seventh grade, Tre is the son of Thomas and Lisa Landaiche. The LSU Honors College, Georgia Tech University, Baylor University and West Point are at the top of his college choices. Tre plans to work toward a degree in computer science with a focus on softward engineering or neural networking.
"Dunham has allowed me to find my passion as well as grow immensely in my faith. The school has really set me up to live an amazing life and I am grateful for the the learning opportunities I have been given here," he said.
As one of the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program, Ciara now joins a select group of academically talented high school seniors who have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $31 million that will be offered in Spring 2020.
High school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT-NMSQT) in the fall of their junior year. Of the 1.5 million high school students who took the PSAT in October 2018, approximately 50,000 (approximately 3.3%) qualify as National Merit Commended Students or Scholar Semifinalists. The nationwide pool of 16,000 Semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of current U.S. high school seniors.