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Two Chalmette High Seniors Recognized as 2023 National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists

Two Chalmette High Seniors Recognized as 2023 National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists


Talk about high-flying owls! Recently, two Chalmette High School seniors were recognized as National Merit Scholarship Semi-finalists, Alex Jorns and Kenny Quach. This prestigious honor, granted to the nation’s most promising students, qualifies them for an opportunity to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28M. Offered next spring, Merit Scholars are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Alex Jorns is truly an outstanding student and athlete. Her CHS Swim Coach Millie Soroe said Alex is always focused on improving. “Her mindset is that she’ll train hard and challenge herself to be better than she was yesterday. She applies this to her studies as well.”

Her selection as a National Merit semi-finalist continues a legacy started by her older sister Chole Jorns, who was also finalist. 

CHS Principal Wayne Warner said such recognition is truly an honor. “The Jorns family has so much to be proud of as do we here at Chalmette High,” he said.  “Alex truly represents all of the great things that make our school so special.  From Key Club and swimming to her incredible success in the classroom, Alex does everything with commitment and class.” 

Alex’s classmate Kenny Quach is also a gifted student. Assistant Principal Kelli Watson describes him as humble, hard-working, and self-motivated. “Besides being a national player on our Academic Games team, Kenny also developed an app to help students improve their skills for competition,” she said. Watson also commended Kenny’s drive for success. “Last year, while enrolled in pre-calculus, Kenny was determined to take the advanced placement calculus test. Not only did he succeed in his efforts, but he scored a 5 on the AP exam, the highest score possible. This speaks volumes about his drive and commitment to learning.”

Semi-finalists represent less than 1% of more than a million students nationwide who take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, or PSAT each year. St. Bernard Superintendent Doris Voitier said the high school’s continued success in this competition is a reflection of the entire district. “Students from every part of our parish attend Chalmette High School,” Voitier said. “So this ongoing recognition by students from across the district is a result of all of the good work taking place at our elementary and middle schools. We are so proud of Alex and Kenny and grateful for all of their teachers and family members who help us continue this legacy of learning.”

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