Six students from five Anne Arundel County public high schools have been selected as semifinalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship competition.

Two students from South River High School led the list, and Broadneck, Meade, Arundel, and Severna Park were represented by one student each.  The prestigious list is comprised of about 16,000 student achievers nationwide.

“This competition is always a testament to the talent and hard work that our young people demonstrate on an admirable level,” interim schools Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins said. “I am proud of these students as they not only set the example for their peers, but are also a reflection of their parents and our dedicated staff.”

Semifinalists in the competition, which is overseen by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, were selected from more than 1.5 million juniors in nearly 22,000 U.S. high schools who were top scorers on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

About 90 percent of the semifinalists will advance to finalist status based on criteria such as academic record, recommendation by school principal, SAT performance, and participation and leadership in school and community activities.  Finalists, who compete for coveted National Merit Scholarships, will be in announced in February.

The local semifinalists are:

South River High School

Kristine Mar

Cheney Wright (now at Southern High School)

Broadneck High School

Allison Waters

Meade High School

Jessica Zhao

Arundel High School

Kathryn Beutler

Severna Park High School

Keith Boone