Picture caption: From left, Thornton Academy Guidance Counselor Jeff Camire, students Alanna Haslam and Tristan Falardeau, Thornton Academy Headmaster Rene Menard and Thornton Guidance Counselor Kelsey Ramsey.

Picture caption: From left, Thornton Academy Guidance Counselor Jeff Camire, students Alanna Haslam and Tristan Falardeau, Thornton Academy Headmaster Rene Menard and Thornton Guidance Counselor Kelsey Ramsey.

SACO — Alanna Haslam and Tristan Falardeau – two Class of 2016 students from Saco – have been named as National Merit Scholar Semifinalists.

Haslam and Falardeau are among the 16,000 Semifinalists across the country whose names were revealed by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

They were selected from 1.5 million students who were juniors last school year and took the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Falardeau, the son of Marc and Lisa Falardeau, plays violin and viola in the Thornton Academy Orchestra, in addition to participating in Amnesty International, and the cross country and track teams. He is interested in pursuing neuroscience.

Haslam, the daughter of John Haslam and Laura Holt-Haslam, performs on stage with the TA Players and in Districts and All-State music festivals as well as competes on the Math Team. She is interested in pursuing mathematical biology.

“This is a very significant recognition and I want to congratulate you. You have made it to a select few out of more than a million students,” said Headmaster Rene Menard.

“Performance on the PSAT test in the junior year qualifies students as a Semifinalist. On the strength of that exam, they make it through the first round. They scored very highly and that sets them off on a journey,” said Director of the Guidance Department Tricia Weyand.

Thornton Academy also announced today that the College Board has identified 48 Thornton Academy students as Advanced Placement Scholars of 2015. These include: one National AP Scholar (a student with scores of 4 or higher on eight or more exams), 13 AP Scholars with Distinction (scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams), five AP Scholars with Honor (scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams) and 29 AP Scholars (scores of 3 or higher on three or more exams).

Thornton Academy offers the largest number of classroom-based AP courses in Maine.