The annual list of National Merit Scholarship competition semi-finalists
Little Rock Central High
is back on top with 24 of the 150 in Arkansas, or nearly one in every six. Cabot High
, with 11, had the next biggest number. The 150 represent less than 1 percent of the state's seniors and are chosen based on the PSAT test given in October 2012.
Of the semi-finalists, the overhwelming number came from public schools, but eight were home-schooled (I may be wrong but I think that's the highest number ever).
Here's the list of all winners.
In Pulaski County:
The Little Rock School District
had 28 (24 at Central; 4 at Parkview
); Pulaski County
had 1 (at North Pulaski
), and North Little Rock Senior High
The eStem charter
school had two; LISA Academy Charter/Little Rock had 2, and LISA/North Little Rock,
Among local private schools Episcopal Collegiate
had 7; Little Rock Christian
6, Catholic High
, 4; Central Arkansas Christian
, 3, and Pulaski Academy
, 1. There were three home-schooled semi-finalists in Pulaski County.
For concentration of talent, the selective admission residential Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts
in Hot Springs stood out as always. Ten of its 103-student senior class made the list.
Central's a large school, but population alone doesn't produce winners. Consider this list of the top 10 high schools in Arkansas, by enrollment figures of the Arkansas Activities Association:
HS (6 Semifinalists)
2. North Little Rock
HS (1 Semifinalist)
3. Cabot HS
4. Conway HS
5. Little Rock Central HS
6. Fayetteville HS
7. Springdale HS
8. Rogers Heritage HS
9. Rogers HS
10. Springdale Har-Ber HS
11. Ft Smith Southside HS
12. Bryant HS
Fayetteville High has often been at or near the top of the list, but dropped some this year. Part of the explanation might be the lure of the competing Haas Hall Academy
, which had six semi-finalists.