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National Merit® Semifinalist, Class President, & International Award Winner

National Merit® Semifinalist, Class President, & International Award Winner

Congratulations to Ranjana Ramesh '23, who has been named a semifinalist in the 2022 National Merit® Scholarship Program competition!

Ranjana serves as President of the Student Council, has excelled in a variety of activities, and has earned several distinguished awards and recognitions.

She is one of 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide and she will now continue in the competition for approximately 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million which will be awarded in Spring 2023. See below for additional details on the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

Ranjana has made her mark on a number of student activities at Central Catholic (see below).

Ranjana Ramesh '23 at Academic Awards Night

"The entire Central Catholic community - I can honestly say ALL my teachers - have made my academic experience incredibly enjoyable," said Ranjana.

"I have learned so much throughout my CCHS experience. Even teachers I haven’t had in class have made coming to school fun. All the teachers I have had have shaped my education and they go the extra mile in helping students and this inspires me to do my best too. I have found that coming to Central has helped me grow a lot as a person and student."

Ranjana Ramesh '23 and Mrs. Keller

"The entire Central Catholic community is incredibly proud of Ranjana,” said Mrs. Doreen Keller '71PMA, CCHS Principal. "She continuously impresses us with her incredible accomplishments, and we have faith that she will accomplish amazing things moving forward."


Ranjana in the Raider News


Ranjana Ramesh '23

About Ranjana

(Originally compiled December 2021)

  • Hometowns: Lowell and Chelmsford
  • Middle School: Ste Jeanne d'Arc School, Lowell
  • AP Scholar with Honor
  • DECA Glass Award Winner (top 10 internationally)
  • President, Student Council Executive Board


  • DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America)
  • Gavel Club
  • National Honor Society
  • Neuroscience Club
  • Student Council (E-Board)
  • Student Alumni Association
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Theatre Guild
  • Visions Literary & Arts Magazine
  • Outside of CCHS
    • research and studying Psychological First Aid
    • Volunteering with the Red Cross
    • Volunteering with the FEMA
    • Tutoring

Last year, Ranjana earned the highest honors at DECA’s Virtual International Career Development Conference. Competing against thousands of students world-wide in her category, the Principles of Hospitality and Tourism, she was named a 2nd place winner and recipient of the highly sought-after DECA Glass. DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

Click here to read more about Ranjana's success through DECA, On Top of the World: Top Ten Internationally.

Ranjana speaks at the microphone at a coffeehouse

Ranjana at the Visions Literary & Arts Magazine Coffeehouse in March 2022.

Her Future

Ranjana’s future plans include studying Biology and International Studies or Government before attending medical school.

"I hope to be a physician and do service work in America and abroad," said Ranjana, who’s brother Navin Ramesh ’24 also attends CCHS. 

In Her Words... 

"Central Catholic is really unique and has amazing people who make it the place it is. I feel accepted - our school community is so warm and encouraging, and we are pushed to excel by those around us who care about us. I'm so, so grateful for our incomparable teachers and faculty who make Central the family it is."

Ranjana Ramesh '23 at the podium at Academic Awards Night

Ranjana’s Faculty and Staff Shout-Outs from December 2021!

"Ms. Burns (Ms. Jeanne Burns, Asst. Principal, Academic Dean) and Mrs. Keller (Mrs. Doreen Keller '71PMA, Principal) have been sources of support and inspiration for me from day one."
"I'm also really grateful to my wonderful English teachers at Central - Mr. Welch (Mr. Joe Welch '90), Mr. Clements (Mr. Mike Clements '94), Mrs. LaBrie (Mrs. Jessica LaBrie '09) and our AP Seminar teacher Mrs. Thompson (Mrs. Christine Thompson '06)!!”
"Thank you to the fantastic Mr. Benedetto (Mr. Robert Benedetto '89, Science Teacher), Mr. King (Mr. Dennis King, Science Teacher), and Mr. Cavanaugh (Mr. Richard Cavanaugh, Science Teacher) for critical thinking skills!"
"Ms. Ciccolo (Ms. Stacy Ciccolo, Social Studies Teacher) has taught me to love modern history and has served as a wonderful mentor."
"I'd also like to say thank you to Mr. Boucher (Mr. Eric Boucher '04, Math Teacher) for teaching us to embrace difficulties and love math."
"My counselor, Mrs. Tetreau (Mrs. Kristin Tetreau '01, School & College Counseling), has been an amazing support system and role model.”
“I'd also like to thank Mr. Sullivan (Mr. Christopher Sullivan ’81, President), Mrs. Kriner (Mrs. Jodi Linnehan Kriner, Dir. of Innovation and Academic Technologies), and Mr. Grella (Mr. Sully Grella '92, Math Teacher) for their endless support, encouragement, and enthusiasm. Mr. Sansoucie (Mr. Matthew Sansoucie '06, Math Teacher), Mr. Brown (Mr. Jarrod Brown '98, Math Teacher), Mr. Svendsen (Mr. Mark Svendsen, Math Teacher), and Mr. Erwin (Mr. David Erwin, Chief Development Officer) have been absolutely spectacular in their dedication to helping us pursue interests. The fantastic Mr. Pantoja (Mr. Joseph Pantoja, Welcome Desk & Campus Security Safety Liaison), Mrs. Lantigua (Ms. Kemnia Lantigua, Attendance Clerk).”

"The CCHS Campus Ministry Staff has also helped make my Central experience special. Community service is something I'm really passionate about, and I love working with students and directly with people, through the Red Cross and the Medical Reserve Corps. I'm really lucky to have a chance to volunteer with causes that I care about; service to the least favored is very gratifying."

And a Special Shout-Out to...

"My kind, talented, spirited fellow Raiders are who make Central home - I’m lucky to have such caring, amazing classmates and I’m so proud to be part of the Red Sea with them at this school."

Congratulations, Ranjana! We look forward to celebrating your future accomplishments as you continue to make the world a better place.



National Merit Scholarship Program logo

More About Becoming a National Merit Semifinalist

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® Award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 95% of Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist status and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

Steps in the 2023 Competition

High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalists and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalists academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, wrote an essay, and earn SAT® and ACT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic, origin, or religious preference.

More on National Merit Scholarships

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2023. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2,500 scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 220 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2023 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 362,000 other distinguished young people who earned the Merit Scholar title.

Ranjana Ramesh '23 in hallway with students

Congratulations to Ranjana on her accomplishments and this impressive achievement!

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information, please visit, call 978-682-0260, or email

Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.