Nearly 10 percent of next June's graduating classes of Gunn and Palo Alto high schools have been named National Merit Semi-Finalists, the Palo Alto Unified School District announced Monday.
"This is an extraordinary number of students to be honored with this recognition from one community," district Superintendent Kevin Skelly said of the results.
It will be interesting indeed to see what these students choose for their futures," he said.
The elite academic honor, derived from a student's performance on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) taken in the junior year, is accorded to fewer than one percent of the nation's high school seniors.
Forty-six of Paly's 429 seniors and 41 of Gunn's 468 seniors have been told they qualify as National Merit Semi-Finalists. The 87 Palo Alto students are among 16,000 high school seniors named as semi-finalists last week by the Illinois-based National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
A semi-finalist is qualified to continue in the competition for some 8,200 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $36 million.
Names of the semi-finalists were not immediately available.