A dozen Columbus Academy seniors were announced today as 2018 Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented students have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

Columbus Academy’s 2018 National Merit Semifinalists

(from left)

  • Michael Boeckman, son of Ron & Ann Boeckman of Bexley
    Interests: chemistry, choir, football, lacrosse, playing with his dog
  • Sebastian Bergman, son of Bruno & Sarah Bergman of New Albany
    Interests: working at Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany, running Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, organizing Victorian International Politics Simulator student club
  • Taylor McGowan, daughter of Jeffrey McGowan & Jacqueline Amico of Galena
    Interests: theater, playwriting, piano, music composition, figure skating, foreign languages, Latin (holds office of Editor on OJCL executive board)
  • Abigail Jeffers, daughter of Jeff & Amelia Jeffers of New Albany
    Interests: music (especially local), journalism, photography, ceramics
  • Andy Zhang, son of Zhanhui Zhang & Yang Cao of New Albany
    Interests: piano, Science Olympiad, Quiz Bowl, debate, violin
  • Randy Yan, son of Zhongcheng Yan & Minglan Hu of Delaware
    Interests: soccer, robotics, pianist in the jazz band, computer science
  • Christopher Heermann, son of Stephen & Deanna Heermann of Westerville
    Interests: photography, cross country, swimming, backpacking
  • Austin Zhang, son of Xifeng Zhang & Cathy Song of Powell
    Interests: programming, basketball, robotics, investing, music
  • Jane Li, daughter of Chaoyang Li & Yunling Zhou of New Albany
    Interests: swimming, journalism, reading, coaching Special Olympics


  • Sarah Morris, daughter of Andrew & Stacey Morris of Granville
    Interests: music, orchid care, reading, drawing, cooking
  • Kieran Law, son of Andrew Law & Katie Rentel of Newark
    Interests: soccer, piano, working on technology projects, reading about current events
  • Zachary Zhou, son of Yu Zhou & Li Chen of Dublin
    Interests: painting, programming, Latin, swimming

Sanna Symer was also a student at Academy when she qualified for National Merit Semifinalist status, but she moved with her family to Houston prior to this school year.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the national scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.