EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognized Coronado High School and Franklin High School as the only El Paso County recipients of the National Merit Scholarship on Wednesday, May 10.

Coronado student Deena Al-Dahwi and Franklin student Anna Dixon are among 2,500 nationwide who were selected from a larger pool of 15,000 finalists in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Judges selected the winners by evaluating accomplishments, skills, and the potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners in each state is proportional to its national share of high school graduating seniors, the scholarship corporation said.   

Al-Dahwi, who’s among the top 1% of her graduating class, most known accomplishments include receiving a near-perfect 1560 on her Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), founding the school’s Scientists without Borders Club with her twin sister Lilo and being and All-State Choir student involved in National Honor Society, Key Club and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA).

Dixon, who is number three in her class, is president of Franklin Distributive Education Club of America (DECA), the energy and environment chair for Student Council and secretary of National Honor Society. She is also involved in Future Business Leaders of America, Key Club, Mu Alpha Theta, UIL Mathematics and the Compassion Club.  

Additionally, Dixon is applying to a prestigious list of colleges including Stanford University, UT Austin, Georgia Tech, Caltech and BYU. She plans to study engineering and applied physics with a possible minor in computer science.  

El Paso Independent School District has traditionally been one of the few districts in El Paso County with National Merit semifinalists and finalists.

El Paso County’s only two 2022 National Merit Scholars were Luke Miller and Samuel Kligman, Coronado graduates who now attend Princeton University.