From left to right: Daniel Walsh, Melody Morales Rojas, Emerson Farris, Luke Raspotnik

Key West High School and the Monroe County School District are proud to announce four students have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program and the College Board.

Emerson Farris is a semi-finalist in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program, while both Luke Raspotnik and Daniel Walsh were recognized as commended students.  Melody Morales Rojas has been recognized as a National Merit Hispanic Scholar. Students recognized by these organizations must receive exceptional PSAT scores in order to qualify.

Morales is one of about 5,000 of the 250,000 Hispanic/Latino students recognized for her achievements by the College Board.

Farris received the distinguished honor of National Merit Semifinalist as a result of scoring in the top 16,000 on the PSAT among the nation’s 1.6 million high school graduating seniors that entered. He could receive one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million to be awarded next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition.

Farris is a member of the Academic Challenge Team and the Jazz Band and is looking to attend a university such as UVA or Princeton next fall.  He loves learning and hasn’t decided on a firm major.  “I’m interested in a lot of things so I’m looking at a Liberal Arts program to start college,” said Farris.   Of the recognition, he stated, “It’s nice to be distinguished among my peers.”

Melody Morales Rojas is an aspiring dentist who currently holds an internship as a dental assistant. She said this opportunity is a great responsibility. “I’m really proud of myself, and I’m really happy that I get to not only represent the Hispanic kids at the school, but also the girls.” Rojas said she hopes to become an orthodontist to help improve upon existing technologies that will prevent dental issues like cavities and tooth decay.

Key West High School is one of three high schools in the Monroe County School District. For more information on the ‘A’ graded school, go to

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