Galatas Named National Merit Semifinalist

Galatas Named National Merit Semifinalist
Posted on 09/17/2021
Galatas Named National Merit Semifinalist

For Nacogdoches High School senior Nyssa Galatas, being named a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist comes with some family ties.

Nyssa learned Wednesday she has been named one of 16,000 semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. 

It was Nyssa’s grandmother, Carla Mezines, who encouraged her to participate in the National Merit program. Mezines was a member of the National Merit program during her own high school days, Nyssa said this week, and encouraged her granddaughter to seek out scholarship offers associated with the organization.

The 16,000 semifinalists nationwide – Nyssa is one of 1,339 students from Texas – come from roughly 1.5 million U.S. high school students who took the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) in October 2020 and met other program participation requirements entered the 2022 National Merit Program competition. 

Semifinalists are the highest-scoring program participants in each state that will advance in competition for National Merit Scholarships to be offered early next year.

“We’re incredibly proud of what Nyssa has accomplished,” said NHS principal Stephen Autrey. “She is a tremendous representative for Nacogdoches High School, and the news that she’s a National Merit Scholar semifinalist is really just the beginning for Nyssa.”

National Merit Scholar finalists will be announced in February.

Nyssa is captain of the NHS debate team this year and will participate in Congress (where she finished third in the region a year ago) and Lincoln-Douglas Debate. In Academic UIL, Nyssa is on teams for Social Studies and Current Events. Additionally, she serves as president of the French Club and is vice president of this year’s senior class.

Nyssa also volunteers in Dallas with Global Elementary Model United Nations, which educates and challenges younger students participating in Model UN contests to authentically portray their roles as delegates.

Following graduation, Nyssa is interested in pursuing public policy and political science and has applied to the University of Texas-Dallas, University of Missouri (the alma mater of her parents, Steve and Rebecca Galatas) and Princeton University.

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