Amarillo's Ascension Academy is celebrating two of their high school seniors -- David Bateman and Braden Santer.

Bateman earned a place as a commended student in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program and Santer is a finalist in the 64th annual NMSP.

Nationwide, the NMSP is recognizing about 34,000 commended students for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2019 competition for NMS Awards, commended students place among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/NMS Qualifying Test.

Santer is one of only two students in the Texas panhandle selected as a NMS finalist.

“This is a tremendous honor and achievement for Braden. His outstanding academic abilities, seriousness of purpose and consistency of effort all contributed to his attaining this national recognition. We are very proud of him,” said Dr. William Summerhill, AA head of school. “(And) since coming to our school in sixth grade, David Bateman has distinguished himself as a student with extraordinary intellectual curiosity and aptitude. It is fitting that he is being recognized for having attained such high scores on the PSAT, earning him this significant accolade.”

7,500 scholarships worth more than $31 million will be awarded by the NMSP next spring.