NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 7, 2021) – Benjamin Franklin High School is proud to announce
that 16 students in the Class of 2022 were named National Merit Semifinalists: Emily
Baumgarten, Joshua Garcia, Autumn Grieb, John Hammett, Ellington Hemphill, Julian
Huddell, Miles Katzen, Iris Kobrock, Mia Luquet, Andrew Mazier, Cecelia Occhipinti,
Audrey Phillips, Jennifer Tran, Helena Usey, Alex Wang, and Anita R. Zahiri.
In addition, another 15 seniors were named National Merit Commended Students: Aidan
Adler, Chloe Deitelzweig, Jonathan Denny, Ian Faul, Christian Hoffmeister, Zoe
Kolenovsky, Ella Michna, Anna Mobley, Christian Nguyen, Minh-Hieu Nguyen, Joseph
Pham, Kayla Robertson, Felix Schafer, Claire Shraberg, and James Zink.
These students are high scorers on the PSAT, given each fall at high schools nationwide.
Out of 1.5 million students who take the PSAT each year, 16,000 are chosen as National
Merit Semifinalists and 34,000 are chosen as National Merit Commended Students, making
these students the top 3 percent in the nation.
The College Board also recognized a number of students as National African American
Scholars, National Hispanic Scholars, and National Indigenous Scholars.
National African American Scholars: Justine Allen, Tyrone Bartholomew, Cook Brown,
Itohan Dennar, Liyah Ernest, Ellington Hemphill, Skye Hodges, Hannah Johnson,
Christian Jordan, Aurora Juarez, Christiana Magee, Logan Palmer, Clark Perkins, Kristian
Prevost, Riya Roberts, Kayla Robertson, Jaime Welsh, and Karma Williams
National Hispanic Scholars: Jackson Bashaw, Esenia Elena Delgadillo, Joshua Garcia,
Aurora Juarez, Andrew Mazier, Robert Nogueira, and Camila Sequeira Zavala
National Indigenous Scholar: Joseph Pham
“We are thrilled to have more than 50 students recognized by College Board,” said Head of
School Dr. Patrick Widhalm. “Seeing over 20 percent of our senior class earn these
distinctions is a high point in an untraditional year!”
For more information, please contact Eve Peyton at (504) 503-0062
About Benjamin Franklin High School
Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans’ most outstanding public charter school, has
been preparing students for success through academic achievement since its founding 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 the highest School Performance
School in Louisiana, making it the No. 1 public school in the state, year after year. Ben
Franklin is repeatedly named a National Blue Ribbon School, most recently in 2021, and
produces numerous 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. For more information, please visit bfhsla.org.
CONTACT: Karla Marie Cochran (504) 252-2816 or...
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