Nine Anne Arundel County area students were recently named semifinalists in the 2005 National Merit Scholarship Program. They are now eligible to become finalists in the national scholarship competition, which awards about 8,200 scholarships a year. Named semifinalists for academic achievement were: Zachary B. Schwartz of Annapolis High School, Peter G. Estridge of Archbishop Spalding High School, James W. McNair and John D. McNair of Chesapeake High School, Christopher J. Zoller of Easton High School, Marissa D. Nielsen of Laurel High School, Nathan M. Avers of the Severn School and Laura A. Hoover and Leo P. Singer of South River High School.

Benjamin A. Levy of Galesville will participate in the National Young Leaders Conference, to be held Oct. 12-17 in Washington. Levy was one of approximately 400 high school students nationwide selected to take part in the leadership development program. During the conference, he will meet members of Congress, participate in seminars, examine Supreme Court cases and debate mock legislation with his peers. Levy was chosen based on his academic achievement and community involvement.

-- Compiled by Eileen Rivers

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