GSSM Celebrates 18 National Merit Semifinalists

Hartsville, SC – Eighteen students from the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) are among the 16,000 semifinalists named in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically accomplished students are now eligible for continued competition in the program, which awards National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million each spring.

GSSM's 2019 National Merit Semifinalists are:

Akhil Adusumilli, child of Uma Adusumilli and Rajesh Adusumilli of Fort Mill
Sienna Brent, child of Dr. Sylvia J. Sievers and Dr. J. Justin Brent of Clinton
Dylan Bruss, child of Jennifer Bruss and Andrew Bruss of Easley
Eugenia Fulcher, child of Dr. Kara Fulcher and Stephen Fulcher of Greenville
Josh Geden, child of Chelle Geden and Matt Geden of Simpsonville
Daniel Hilbourn, child of Deborah S. Hilbourn and Jerry L. Hilbourn of Florence
Will Hobbs, child of Kristine Hobbs and Bill Hobbs of Lexington
Daniel Li, child of Min Zhang and Dr. Mai Li of Greenville
John Lu, child of Xiuzhen Lu and Zhenheng Li of Aiken
Brendan McManamon, child of Deborah McManamon and James McManamon of Easley
Will Ramsey, child of Mei Kung and Bill Ramsey of Greenwood
Albert Rancu, child of Catalina Marinescu and Ovidiu Rancu of Anderson
Ashlyn Reining, child of Shelly Reining and Kris Reining of Myrtle Beach
Richard Sandvoss, child of Kathy Sandvoss and Keith Sandvoss of Fort Mill
Lillian Slaughter, child of Mrs. Shannon Slaughter and Mr. John Slaughter of Inman
Gavin Hale Stafford, child of Jessica Stafford and Jeff Stafford of Greenville
Chasity Waldron, child of Shannon Harrison Waldron and Lee Waldron of Hartsville
Haakim Waraich, child of Kiran Sheikh and Afsar Waraich of Barnwell
“We are pleased and proud that our GSSM students continue to demonstrate excellence at the national level. We are also pleased that this academic recognition impacts students throughout the state of South Carolina, reflecting GSSM's commitment to excellence, inclusion and opportunity,” remarked Dr. Hector Flores, GSSM President.

More than 1.6 million juniors in 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. A student becomes a Finalist based on academic record, high school principal endorsement, and SAT scores.

Approximately 90 percent of Semifinalists are expected to become Finalists, and approximately half of the Finalists will be awarded scholarships. Awards will be announced between April and July 2019. For more information, visit

About GSSM
Founded in 1988 as a model for advanced STEM education in South Carolina, GSSM is a nationally recognized school serving about five hundred of the state's most accomplished scholars in the 10th through 12th grades through its residential and virtual programs. The school offers unique advanced courses in science, mathematics, and engineering at its campus in Hartsville and virtually to partner school districts across the state. Learn more by visiting

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