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National Merit Scholarship Program Recognizes Iona Prep Students

Brother Thomas R. Leto, president of Iona Prep in New Rochelle, congratulates Iain Pile of Tuckahoe,
a 2017 Semi-Finalist in the National Merit Program.
Brother Thomas R. Leto, president of Iona Prep in New Rochelle, congratulates Iain Pile of Tuckahoe, a 2017 Semi-Finalist in the National Merit Program. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Five Iona Prep seniors have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s 2017 program.

In order to enter the academic competition for recognition and scholarships, students have to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. There are about 1.6 million students who go through the initial screening process each year.

This year’s recognized Iona students are:

  • Semifinalists: Iain Pile, Tuckahoe (National Merit Program).
  • Commended Students: Leonard Corelli, Bedford; Joseph Porpora, Thornwood; and James Sloat, Yorktown Heights
  • National Hispanic Scholar: Elijah Simpson, Yonkers.

“We are so proud of this year’s group of recognized students, adding to the long tradition of academic achievement here at Iona Prep,” said Brother Thomas R. Leto, president of Iona Prep.

Calling it “an amazing accomplishment, Leto said the school has had 152 students achieve finalist, commended students, national achievement scholar, or National Hispanic Scholar since 1992.

There are approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

These academically talented high school seniors will get the chance to compete for the 7,500 National Merit Scholarships -- worth about a total of $33 million -- that will be offered next spring.

About 90 percent of semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of those will win a National Merit Scholarship.

Iona Prep is an independent, Roman Catholic, all-male college preparatory institution.

It has an upper school for grades 9 through 12 and a lower school for kindergarten through 8th grades.

The private school was founded by the Congregation of Christian Brothers in 1916. It is the “brother school” of The Ursuline School, a local Catholic girls’ school.

In 2015, it had 979 students; 771 in the upper school and 208 in the lower school.

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