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Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School is proud to announce that seniors Lane Estes and Robert McDonald have qualified as National Merit Semifinalists this year. More than 1.5 million high school juniors in 21,000 high schools enter the program each year, and they will now compete among 16,000 students to become National Merit Finalists and receive one of 7,600 scholarships totaling $30 million. 

Both students have outstanding academic records and are involved with a variety of activities. In the 2019-2020 school year, Lane received the academic award for AP Calculus B/C. He is co-president of Model UN, president of Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society and a member of the Science National Honor Society, National Honor Society, Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society and the Honor Council. He volunteers at the Atlanta History Center and works at Mathnasium as a math tutor. He is a peer tutor at HIES and his favorite subject is history. Lane is applying to several colleges, including University of North Carolina, Columbia University and University of Georgia. 

An Alpha-Omega student, Robert is a team leader for varsity wrestling and runs varsity track. He is a member of the Round Square leadership team and traveled to Bolivia in summer 2019. He is president of the Coding Club, a leader in Science National Honor Society and a member of National Honor Society; he also serves as a Golden Bear Guide for admissions. He works at Chick-fil-A on Roswell Road. His favorite class to date is Data Structures. He is applying to Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina and Harvard University.

Lane and Robert join a nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, that includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. Semifinalists are selected based on their academic record, school and community activities, leadership, employment and honors and awards.