Scholars at Tempe's Corona del Sol High School have something to brag about.
National Merit Scholarship semifinalists for 2008 were announced Wednesday at schools across the nation, and Corona del Sol led the Valley with 17 students on the list.
Semifinalists are selected based on their PSAT test performance.
"We're just so proud," Corona del Sol principal Susan Edwards said. "We do a lot of preparation, and the counselors go above and beyond informing the parents and students how to prepare for the PSAT and SAT."
Scottsdale's Desert Mountain High School was next in the Phoenix area with 16 semifinalists.
“They are highly motivated,” Desert Mountain guidance counselor Sue Ingle said. “They just do it themselves. … Some years are more competitive than others, and I guess that makes them achieve higher standards.”
Overall, 16,000 semifinalists were identified nationwide. The list will be narrowed to 8,200 recipients based on students' abilities, skills and accomplishments, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s Web site.
The school with the most semifinalists in Arizona was Tucson's University High School, which produced 21 scholars.
Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee Foothills had 12 semifinalists, Scottsdale’s Chaparral High School had 11, Horizon High School in the Paradise Valley Unified School District had nine, and Dobson High School in Mesa had 8 semifinalists.