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Peoria Unified honors National Merit Scholarship winner


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  • Erin Dunsey/Peoria Unified School District

Kenji Onaka

Peoria Unified School District recently celebrated Kenji Onaka from Sunrise Mountain High School as a National Merit Scholarship Winner in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Nearly 16,000 semi-finalists competed nationally for 7,600 merit scholarships totaling approximately $34 million.

More than 1.4 million juniors in nearly 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. This test served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

Peoria Unified honors National Merit Scholarship winner KenjiOnakaInside

Kenji Onaka from Sunrise Mountain High School was named a National Merit Scholarship Winner in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. He will be graduating in the top one percent of his class and will be one of the speakers at Sunrise Mountain’s high school graduation ceremony on May 21. Photo courtesy of Peoria Unified School District

Onaka is President of Sunrise Mountain High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society, Vice President of the Speech and Debate Club, he serves as the Debate Team Captain, is President of the Swim and Dive Club and Captain of the Boys Swim Team.

He will be graduating in the top one percent of his class and will be one of the speakers at Sunrise Mountain’s high school graduation ceremony on May 21.

Onaka will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point upon graduation, majoring in Physics with a concentration in Astrophysics.

The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 37,000 students in 34 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 95 percent high school graduation rate. Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs. For more information, visit www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.