For the first time in at least seven years Lakewood High School will have a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship program.
Each year the program gives about 16,000 high school seniors from around the country a chance to compete for the National Merit Scholarship.
This year Lakewood High School student Kiana Oos became one of the semifinalists.
“We were very excited for her,” said Melanie Irish, a college and career specialist at Lakewood High School.
“We got the information in the mail, but we couldn’t make it public until Sept. 15 so we had to keep it under wraps,” she said.
Staff at the school were happy to present her with the good news.
“She was stunned and excited as well. She couldn’t believe it,” said Irish.
Becoming a semifinalist with the National Merit Scholarship program is typically based on PSAT scores.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic it was a little more complicated this year, however.
“She made the extra effort,” said Irish.
“This year we had to cancel the PSAT because of COVID,” she said, noting that all districts in the area also canceled their plans for the test as well.
Kiana went to an alternate site for the test and submitted the extra paperwork to still qualify for the recognition.
“So she really went out of her way to apply to be a semifinalist,” said Irish.
Irish said Kiana is an excellent student who deserves the honor.
“Kiana is the number one student in her class,” she said. “She takes all of our advanced classes, and still has a 4.0."
Kiana is also a soccer player and one of the leaders of her team.
“She’s out they’re playing in the season that is going on right now,” said Irish.
At Lakewood High School Kiana is involved in a number of groups and clubs as well.
“She is involved in other extracurriculars here,” said Irish, including the National Honor Society and the Cougar Crew.
"The Cougar Crew is a mentorship program that we run here,” said Irish.
Staff are glad that Kiana was recognized.
“We’re all really proud of her,” said Irish.
It has been a while since Lakewood High School has seen another student be recognized with the honor.
“We haven’t had a semifinalist at the school since I started here back in 2014,” said Irish.
“We’re a small school so it is quite an honor for us,” she added.