A Cherokee County School District Class of 2020 graduating senior has earned the prestigious National Merit Scholarship.

Sathvika Narasimhan of River Ridge High School is one of only 2,500 graduating seniors in the nation — of the 1.5 million students who took the 2018 PSAT exam — to be awarded the highly competitive $2,500 scholarship by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

“Sathvika has impressed me throughout her CCSD career – we’ve truly watched her grow up at spelling bees, reading bowls and awards ceremonies – and I could not be more proud of her latest accolade,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “The Merit Scholar honor is considered among the highest honors awarded to seniors, and Sathvika has worked hard for years to achieve it. Congratulations also to her family and her teachers, who I know also take great pride in this news and join me in wishing Sathvika all the best in her brilliant future.”

Sathvika, who will major in computer science on a pre-medicine track at the University of Georgia to pursue a career in medicine, and her fellow Merit Scholar designees were selected from more than 15,000 outstanding finalists who made it through the initial rigorous selection process for the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Merit Scholars are selected based on their accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The selection committee is made up of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who review each finalist’s academic records, including difficulty of courses and grades earned; college-entrance exam scores; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official. Sathvika and her fellow finalists also will be considered for college-sponsored National Merit scholarships, which are announced in the summer.

In addition to being named a National Merit Finalist and Merit Scholar, Sathvika also is a Georgia Department of Education Georgia Scholar and AP (Advanced Placement) Scholar and was selected for Governor’s Honors in the field of engineering, among her many prestigious honors. She is a two-time National Center for Women & Information Technology state winner and national honoree; earned the President’s Award for Educational Excellence; and was selected for the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Model Atlanta Regional Commission and Girls Who Code’s Summer Immersion Program.

A three-time CCSD Spelling Bee champion and Georgia Spelling Bee runner-up, Sathvika has competed with her school’s award-winning academic bowl team, math team, reading bowl team, Science Olympiad team and TOME Literacy Society chapter. She is a charter member of her school’s National Technical Honor Society chapter, and a member of its Knight Council school advisory board and Beta Club service organization. A dedicated school and community volunteer, Sathvika is a leader in CCSD’s Sprouting STEMs program, which enlists talented high school students to engage elementary school students in STEM learning; and has earned a Girl Scouts Bronze Award.

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