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GECA senior, Claire Huang, named 2021 National Merit Scholarship winner
GUSD Communications

Gilroy, CA – The Gilroy Unified School District is pleased to announce that Claire Huang, a senior at the Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA), has been named a 2021 National Merit Scholarship winner.  The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students across the country who demonstrate exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

About 1.6 million juniors in the United States entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT (PSAT) /National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). From the pool of students who entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program, only about 16,000, or 1%, were named Semifinalists.

Semifinalists are designated on a state representational basis, in proportion to each state's percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors.

In order to advance in the competition, and to be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Claire became a finalist by fulfilling several requirements that included submitting a detailed scholarship application and presenting a record of very high academic performance.

Winners of the 7,500 National Merit Scholarships awarded are being chosen from a group of 15,000 distinguished Finalists.  Less than 0.5% of the high school juniors who take the qualifying examinations are named National Merit Scholarship winners

In addition to the designation, Claire has also qualified for a $2500 National Merit Scholarship to help with school expenses.  She is GECA's Class of 2021 valedictorian.  Claire will be recognized by the Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education at the May 20, 2021 Board Meeting. 

In addition, five other GUSD seniors received National Merit Scholar designation:

  • Daniel Tran, GECA, National Merit Scholar finalist
  • Kasandra Maita, GECA, National Merit Scholar semi-finalist
  • Ryan Cottone, Christopher High School, National Merit Scholar commended scholar
  • Jasmine Antrim, GECA, National Merit Scholar commended scholar
  • Jack Fan, GECA, National Merit Scholar commended scholar

For more information on the National Merit Scholarship program, visit:

  • Christopher High School
  • GECA
  • Press Releases