Bright Oklahoma high school students l ighting up the scoreboards

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: September 26, 2012
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At this point in the high school football season, the direction that most teams are going is abundantly clear — much to the joy of some fans and the heartbreak of others.

Edmond Memorial, for example, is 0-4. But Memorial is well ahead of most public high schools in another and ultimately more important measure of success. The school has 10 students among the more than 200 Oklahoma kids who are semifinalists for National Merit Scholarships, a total that includes private schools and homeschoolers.

Less than 1 percent of high school students nationally qualify for National Merit Scholarships, a program that will reward good students with more than $30 million in scholarship money next spring.

Its football fortunes may be lower this year, but Memorial has more semifinalists than the much larger Union and Jenks high schools, one of which usually wins the state Class 6A football championship each year. The three Edmond high schools (Memorial, North and Santa Fe) have a combined 16 National Merit semi-finalists, compared with eight at Union and nine at Jenks. No other Class 6A schools come close.

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