2 Shelby students national merit semifinalists

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Two students from Shelby County were among 16,000 who earned the semifinal round of the in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship program.


Sam Saarinen from Shelby County High School, who is attending the Gatton Academy at Western Kentucky University, and Liam Stanton-Baker of Collins High School scored among the best in the state from among the 1.5 million who took the test.

In February 15,000 finalists will be selected, followed by 13,000 special scholarship recipients. The 8,300 Merit Scholarship winners will be notified in March.

Saarinen participates in the athletics club, ultimate Frisbee and intramural soccer teams, is hall representative in student government association and member of Forensics Team. Each of the past semesters, he was named a WKU president’s scholar for outstanding grade-point average.

He said he likes mathematics and plans to pursue a doctorate in math of physics.

Stanton-Baker is president of Young Republicans and Y Club and was an assistant justice for the Kentucky Youth Assembly Assistant Justice, receiving advanced placement scholar with a distinction of excellence in mathematics and excellence in U.S. politics and government. He said his favorite subject is mathematics.