GNO Collaborative Teachers

Ben Franklin High Celebrates 24 National Merit Semifinalists: the most in LA!

Date: September 16th, 2019

CONTACT: Eve Peyton ’98 (504) 503-0062  or

Benjamin Franklin High School Celebrates 24 National Merit Semifinalists, the Most in Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS (Sept. 13, 2019) – Benjamin Franklin High School is proud to announce the following 24 seniors have been selected as semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program announced by the officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation, or NMSC. All finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2020.
Olympia Baldwin Edwards Katherine Blackburn Ahmed Cheema
Isabel CollinsTomaso DiRe Theodore Fang Andrew Farnsworth Kaitlin Gelman Joaquin Gomez De’janee Jenkins Oanh LeAllison Lee
Erica Li
Kevin Lu
Rangasri Narayanamoorthy Ashley NguyenJohn Parker Yehuda Potash Bruce Quach Benjamin Singer Joseph Wagner Jennifer Webb Joshua Wu David Zhang
According to NMSC, over 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT in October 2018. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.
With 24 students selected, Ben Franklin has the highest number of National Merit Semifinalists in the state of Louisiana.
“We are incredibly proud of these 24 National Merit Semifinalists, and we know that they have worked hard consistently to earn this national recognition,” said Dr. Patrick Widhalm, head of school. “We also thank parents and the Franklin faculty and staff fortheir role in this accomplishment and look forward to a growing list of honors and achievements from the Class of 2020.”
Franklin will hold its Admissions Open House on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and all interested families are invited to attend. Applications will be accepted starting on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, and the first admissions test is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. More details can be found on the school’s website at
For more information, please contact Eve Peyton at (504) 503-0062 or


About Benjamin Franklin High School
Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans’ most outstanding public charterschool, has been preparing students for success through academic achievement since itsfounding in 1957. Consistently ranked as a “top public high school in the nation” by U.S.News & World Report, Newsweek, and Business Week, Franklin has received thehighest School Performance School in Louisiana, making it the No. 1 public school in thestate, year after year. Ben Franklin is repeatedly named a National Blue Ribbon School,producing Presidential and National Merit Scholars each year. The exceptional students,faculty, and staff at Ben Franklin are the best and the brightest in New Orleans. Formore information, please visit

News & Highlights

Discovery Schools accepting applications for 2022-23 school year!


Friends of Hynes Signs Lease Agreement with UNO for New Hynes-UNO Campus

Friends of Hynes Signs Lease Agreement with UNO for New Hynes-UNO CampusNew Hynes-UNO building...

YACS thanks Lauren Daigle w/photo

Young Audiences Charter Schools’ Lawrence D. Crocker Elementary Campus Gives Thanks to Singer...