Commonwealth Seniors Recognized in 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Program

Commonwealth School is pleased to share outcomes from the 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Program to date.

Four of this year's thirty-three seniors have been recognized as Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program, representing the state of Massachusetts:

  • Alexandra "Sasha" Bates '21, of Newton, Massachusetts (child of Joseph Bates and Kristin Loeffler)
  • Henry Bresnahan '21, of Reading, Massachusetts (child of C. Scott Bresnahan and Kathryn Bresnahan)
  • Benjamin "Benny" Jaffer '21, of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (child of Farouc Jaffer and Katherine Economy)
  • Xingyan "Henry" Wang '21, of Westwood, Massachusetts (child of Jun Wang and Yingqian Ma)

These National Merit Semifinalists join a nationwide pool of approximately 16,000 students, representing less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors and including the highest-scoring entrants in each state. 

An additional fourteen Commonwealth seniors received notice of the National Merit Letters of Commendation. These are students whose PSAT scores put them in the top 5% of test takers nationally:

  • Maoz Bizan '21, of Belmont, Massachusetts (child of Dr. Oded Bizan and Dr. Selva Lewin-Bizan)
  • Steve Ewald '21, of Weston, Massachusetts (child of Frederick Ewald and Robin Ewald)
  • Sophia Gardiner '21, of Stoneham, Massachusetts (child of Dr. Matthew Gardiner and Dr. Mary Beth Cunnane)
  • Sidhanth Holalkere '21, of Sharon, Massachusetts (child of Gowrishankar Holalkere and Gowri Zoolagud)
  • Ryan Kilpadi '21, of Cambridge, Massachusetts (child of Rohit Kilpadi and Dr. Pamela Kilpadi)
  • Amalya Labell '21, of Newton, Massachusetts (child of Lawrence Labell and Paula Labell)
  • Eric Liu '21, of Sharon, Massachusetts (child of Dawei Liu and Ms. Lan Jiang)
  • Chirstopher Milan '21, of Newton, Massachusetts (child of Dr. David Milan and Dr. Laura Mauri)
  • Emi Neuwalder '21, of Somerville, Massachusetts (child of Philip Parsons and Dr. Jennifer Neuwalder)
  • Anirudh Nistala '21, of Acton and Maynard, Massachusetts (child of Aruna Thyagarajan and Ramakrishna Nistala)
  • Amelia Orwant '21, of Brookline, Massachusetts (child of Dr. Jon Orwant and Dr. Robin Orwant)
  • Lila Tung '21, of Lexington, Massachusetts (child of Dr. Roger Tung and Dr. Jillian Tung)
  • Avery Wang '21, of Quincy, Massachusetts (child of Dr. Zhaohui Wang and Dr. Jing Guo)
  • Alexander Williams '21, of Winchester, Massachusetts (child of Jeffrey Williams and Jennifer Williams)

More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test®. Finalists will be announced in February of 2021, and National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced between April and July.

Our congratulations to these and all of our hardworking seniors!

For more information, please contact Director of Communications Jessica Tomer,, 617-266-7525.