Newark High School senior Joseph Malach qualified as a semifinalist in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program — a national award for academic excellence.
The announcement was made by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.. High school students enter the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants annually, as well as by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.
As one of 16,000 high school seniors to be named a semifinalist, Malach has the opportunity to compete for 7,500 scholarships in the spring. Malach currently holds a 98.86 GPA at NHS.
To receive further consideration, he must advance to finalist standing by fulfilling additional requirements. Only finalists can compete for Merit Scholarship awards.
Principal Tom Roote said he is “rooting” for the NHS senior as he continues the process of applying to become a finalist.
“Working with Joey these past few years has been my pleasure,” he said. “Interestingly enough, and a credit to Joey’s varied talents, I don’t first think of Joey’s GPA when I consider his great contributions to NHS. Joey lives the school values on a daily basis. He is an extraordinarily mindful individual and has gifts I yearn to share whenever possible.
“Joey has shown a strong affinity toward the fine arts. I have enjoyed a number of his performances over the past few years. It has been great watching his gifts flourish at NHS. If I recall correctly, he is a brass specialist who performs regularly with Downbeat, our jazz groups and is a regular participant in our fall play and spring musical. Somehow, and I truly don’t know how he does it, he manages to achieve at the highest level on his Advanced Placement coursework.”
Approximately 15,000 semifinalists will find out if they moved on to the finalist level in February. High school principals will be notified and provided with a certificate to present to each finalist.
The scholarship winners are selected from the finalist group based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments. Various information is available for judges to evaluate, such as each student’s academic record, information about their school’s curriculum and grading system, two sets of test scores, written recommendations, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the finalist’s essay.
Three types of awards are available: $2,500 scholarship awards, corporate-sponsored awards and college-sponsored awards.