Dobyns-Bennett Students Recognized in National Merit® Scholarship Program

Published September 9, 2015 at 2:19 p.m.

Kingsport, Tenn. – Eight Dobyns-Bennett High School students have been named as semifinalists for the 61st Annual 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program, a program designed to identify and honor the top high school students in the United States.

Those named as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists from D-B are Emily Baker, daughter of Leslie Boucher and Russell Baker, Samantha and Theresa Cahill, daughters of John and Paula Cahill, Alexander Caviness, son of John Caviness and Sabrina Yu, Jennifer Garland, daughter of Wayne and Carol Garland, Sarah Homoky, daughter of Doug and Carri Homoky, Kaylie Richard, daughter of Kevin and Shelly Richard, and Charlotte Schodowski, daughter of Paul Schodowski and Sharon Ziegler-Schodowski. These eight students will compete with the top high school students in the nation for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $32 million that will be offered in Spring 2016.

“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of these eight outstanding D-B students,” said Dobyns-Bennett Principal Dr. Chris Hampton.  “To have such a large group of National Merit Semifinalists is a testament to the drive and work ethic of these students, their teachers, and their families.  They represent the very best of our school and community, and we share in their celebration of this prestigious honor.”

The National pool of semi-finalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test  (PSAT/NMSQT) entrants in each state. More than 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screening of program entrants. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Approximately 16,000 U.S. students qualified as semifinalists.  The National Merit Scholarship Corporation provides scholarship application materials to semifinalists through their high schools. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® Award, semifinalists must advance to the Finalists level of the competition by fulfilling several requirements. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

For more information on the National Merit Scholarship Program, please contact the Dobyns Bennett High School Counseling Office at (423) 378.8409 or visit

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and a non-traditional school; with total enrollment over 7,100 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to be, Student Focused … World Class.

KCS has been named the top school district in Tennessee as winner of the 2014 SCORE Prize District Award by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and has earned the 2014 Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee Recognition Program by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNPCE).

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FMThe Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).