Villa Maria Academy seniors Emily Legaard and Kelly Wright have been named National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists. Seniors Claire Bagley, Emily Ermer, Holly Funk, Madeline Hone, Keely McAveney, Brenna McGuire and Elizabeth Morgan have been named commended students in the annual scholarship competition.

Legaard lists chemistry as her favorite subject, and expects to seek a degree in chemistry or pharmacy. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Latin Honor Society, and participates in the Mock Trial team and the school yearbook. She plans to apply to colleges including Johns Hopkins University, Franklin and Marshall College, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Wright hopes to major in international business at Ursinus College, Cabrini College, or Immaculata University. She is a member of the French Honor Society and vice president of the Handbell Choir.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual scholarship and recognition competition. Semifinalists are chosen from the approximately 1.5 million students taking the PSAT in the previous year, and represent the top third of the highest 50,000 scorers nationally.