McKINNEY (April 23, 2015) — It’s a long journey to earn the prestigious title of National Merit® Scholarship Finalist and National Achievement® Scholarship Finalist. The selection process for this year’s five MISD Finalists began more than a year ago in 2013 when about 1.4 million high school juniors from across the country took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/MNSQT®) as an initial screen of entrants in the annual scholarship programs.

In the end, only about 1 percent (approximately 15,000) of that vast number of students would advance through the ranks to be named Finalists.

After recognizing the highest-performing students in the fall of 2014 as Outstanding Participants, Commended Scholars and eventually for some, Semifinalists, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) earlier this spring notified those who had ultimately earned the coveted title of Finalist.

McKinney North High School senior Aaron Mead is a National Merit Finalist.

McKinney North High School senior Aaron Mead is a National Merit Finalist.


Stephanie Ohagi, a senior at McKinney High School, is a 2015 National Achievement Finalist and $2,500 scholarship winner.

Stephanie Ohagi, a senior at McKinney High School, is a 2015 National Achievement Finalist and $2,500 scholarship winner.


That number included National Merit Scholarship Finalists Katherine Procter, Haven Trahan and Blair Walker from McKinney Boyd High School, Finalist Aaron Mead from McKinney North High School and McKinney High School senior Stephanie Ohagi who is a National Achievement Scholarship Finalist.

In addition to the title, NMSC has awarded Ohagi a $2500 National Achievement Scholarship. Finalists are eligible to receive one of three types of scholarships: the $2500 scholarship from NMSC, a college-sponsored scholarship or a corporate-sponsored scholarship. More scholarship awards are expected to be announced later this spring and in the early summer.

Students who became Finalists not only had to achieve top scores on their initial PSAT and confirm those scores on the SAT, but also had to submit a detailed application in conjunction with their school that provided information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. Furthermore, they had to maintain an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official and write an essay.

“To earn recognition by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation is one of the great academic achievements a student can attain during his or her high school years,” said Marita Cleaver, McKinney ISD Coordinator of Advanced Academics. “Such recognition honors those students who focus on College Readiness and commit their efforts and dedication to this goal on their path to success in college and life. It equally honors all those who have provided a solid foundation of educational growth throughout these students’ academic careers. We are proud and humbled to have such hard working and dedicated students in MISD, and we congratulate them and their families as they celebrate these outstanding academic achievements.”

For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or


About McKinney ISD

One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,750 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, four alternative schools and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at