Vianney has 2 National Merit Semifinalists

School News

CONGRATULATIONS TO St. John Vianney High School seniors JACK LYONS and ANTHONY W. SCHRADER,  who have earned designation as National Merit Semifinalists for 2014.

Lyons, of Eureka, and Schrader, of Ballwin, were notified today by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation that they were among the 16,000 Semifinalists in the nation in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These two academically talented seniors, pictured here with Vianney Principal Dr. Tim Dilg, have an opportunity to continue in the competition for about 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 million. These scholarships will be awarded next spring.

National Merit SemifinalistsTo advance to the National Merit Finalist stage, students must fulfill several requirements. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to earn Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

“This is a tremendous honor not only for Jack, Anthony and their teachers, but for St. John Vianney High School as well,” said Dr. Dilg, Vianney's Principal. “These are both hard working young men who are talented academically and who choose to participate in many activities in our school. Congratulations to Jack and Anthony and their parents on this significant honor.”

About 1.5 million high school juniors in more than 22,000 schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represent less than one percent of all high school seniors in the nation. This pool includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.


To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his school must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes important information about his academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm a student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

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

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a not-for-profit organization established in 1955. Scholarships are underwritten by the corporation and nearly 440 business organizations and higher education institutions.

St. John Vianney High School is a Catholic, Marianist school serving boys in grades 9-12. The mission of Vianney High School is dedicated to forming young men for spiritual, academic and personal excellence. The school is located in Kirkwood, MO, and has an enrollment of about 650 young men. Vianney earned a Top 50 ranking among Catholic high schools in the nation for the quality of its academic program, as designated by the Cardinal Newman Society. Learn more about our Top 50 ranking at Vianney was also recently named a Model School in the nation by the Gurian Institute.