Dobyns-Bennett Students Recognized as Commended Students in the National Merit® Scholarship Program

Kingsport, Tenn. – Nine Dobyns-Bennett High School students have been named as Commended Students in the 66th Annual 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Program, a program designed to identify and honor the top high school students in the United States.

Those named as Commended Students from Dobyns-Bennett are Chandni Bhat, daughter of Sunny Bhat and Kanchan Kaushik, Emily Cai, daughter of Kejun Cai and Hongjuan Wang, Vincent Gould, son of Thomas and Brandy Gould, Alexandra Holley, granddaughter of Larry and Ruth Dexter, Johnathan Lai, son of Benson Lai and MeeMee Hu, Meg Maynor, daughter of Marc and Kimberly Maynor, Anna Sago, daughter of Brett and Joni Sago, Evan Thomas, son of Thomas Thomas and Cheryl Stanski, and Grace Wellman, daughter of Greg and Kimberly Wellman. 

"I am very proud of these nine scholars, their hard work and the contributions they have made to our school and community," said Dobyns-Bennett Principal Dr. Chris Hampton. "I have no doubt they will continue making positive contributions to our school and eventually to the communities where they continue their education."

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2021 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2021 completion by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screening of program entrants. 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.

Approximately 16,000 U.S. students qualified as semifinalists.  The National Merit Scholarship Corporation provides scholarship application materials to semifinalists through their high schools. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® Award, semifinalists must advance to the Finalist level of the competition by fulfilling several requirements. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.

For more information on the National Merit Scholarship Program, please contact the Dobyns-Bennett High School Counseling Office at (423) 378.8409 or visit

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice, and an alternative learning program; with total enrollment over 7,700 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to Inspire. Cultivate. Impact.

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, download our mobile app for Apple/Android devices or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District), Instagram (@kcs_district), LinkedIn (Kingsport City Schools), and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).