Each year, the National Merit Scholarship Program honors high school students from across the country for their dedication to and excellence in academics.
The process of awarding the scholarship is lengthy and goes through multiple stages.
The National Merit program names commended students, then semifinalists, then finalists.
While no one from Soquel High advanced on to the semifinal round, two local students were named National Merit Scholarship Commended Students on Tuesday morning. Graham D. Denevin and Grae R. Zimmerman were given the distinction along with 12 students from Santa Cruz High School and five from Harbor High School.
Santa Cruz County is also home to three semifinalists. Rachel X. Zhang and Justin Z. Szasz from Santa Cruz High School and Russell C. Huang from Alternative Family Education are in the running to become finalists for the National Merit Scholarship.
"Congratulations to all of our recognized students – we celebrate your accomplishments and acknowledge the community of educators and parents who work in partnership with our excellent schools to maintain the many outstanding programs that help all our students succeed," Santa Cruz City Schools said in a prepared statement.