GSSM Celebrates 20 National Merit Finalists

February 12, 2015

The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) is excited to announce that 20 members of the class of 2015 were recently named National Merit Finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). These academically motivated students are now eligible for continued competition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Not only is this the highest number of National Merit Finalists in any South Carolina high school, it is also the most finalists in GSSM's 27-year history.

GSSM's National Merit Finalists include:

  • Chanon Amphan, son of Chon Amphan & Dee Tan of Florence
  • Anya Bali, daughter of Drs. A.J. & S.C. Bali of Hartsville
  • Tyler Brown, son of Peter N. Brown and Kathryn Brown Holt of Greenville
  • Wil Carpenter, son of Eric & Reneé Carpenter of Lake Wylie
  • Sean Conway, son of Neal M. & Eileen K. Conway of Greenville
  • Katie Duchinski, daughter of Janice Duchinski and the late Gerald F. Duchinski, Jr of Mauldin
  • Aspen Golden, daughter of Jay & Faith Golden of Clover
  • Madison Maddox, daughter of Ron & Greta Maddox of St. Helena
  • Cameron Maes, son of Patrick & Melanie Maes of Summerville
  • John Mathai, son of Rob & Renee Mathai of Beaufort
  • Alex Mau, son of Fredric & Sandy Mau of Columbia
  • Patrick McKenzie, son of David & Caroline McKenzie of Lexington
  • Hansen Mou, son of Yanghu Mou & Haiping Huang of Greer
  • Josh Pope, son of Mike & Sarah Pope of Florence
  • Sayaka Reed, daughter of Eric & Yayoi Reed of Spartanburg
  • Gavin Roser, son of Vince & JoAnn Roser of Landrum
  • Jack Runge, son of Charles & Luanne Runge of Greenville
  • Sara Watson, daughter of Sam & Becky Watson of Simpsonville
  • Zach Wyman, son of David Wyman & Elaine Worzala of Clemson
  • Gordon Zhang, son of Dr. Guigen Zhang & Sucheng Xie of Central

"We congratulate our National Merit Finalists and their families and wish them success throughout the scholarship competition," said Dr. Murray Brockman, GSSM president.

NMSC chose approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program from across the nation, including 205 in South Carolina.

In late January 2015, approximately 1,300 of the 16,000 Semifinalists were notified that they now qualify as Finalists in the 2015 program. They will compete for the 7,600 scholarships worth more than $33 million that will be offered this spring.

The program begins with students taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). Semifinalists across the nation are then named based on the highest-scoring entrants in each state. A student becomes a finalist based on academic record, high school principal endorsement and an SAT score confirming their qualifying test score.

Approximately 90 percent of semifinalists are predicted to become finalists and over half of the finalists will be awarded a scholarship. Scholarship awards will be announced beginning in March 2015 and concluding in June. For more information, visit

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