Six Tucson-area teens have been named National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners.

The students have been identified as having the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

The scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

The local winners are: Haley A. Petersen of Ironwood Ridge High School; Kelsey M. Barter, Matthew A. Bryson, Henry Hanrui Lei and Catherine C. Liu of University High School; and John L. Reynolds of Mountain View High School, who received an honorary merit scholarship, which signifies that the Scholar’s educational plans or other awards preclude receipt of a monetary scholarship.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea

Education writer for #ThisIsTucson. Mom of one.