PHS Principal Mark Henderson recognizes Roman Padar during an assembly on Thursday for being named as a National Merit Scholarship finalist. (Photo provided by Mark Henderson/Philomath High School)

Philomath High School senior Roman Padar earned a significant academic honor this week when Principal Mark Henderson announced that he has been chosen as a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

Achieving finalist status puts Padar in a select group with 1.5 million students entering the annual competition. Representing less than 1 percent of high school seniors nationwide, Padar as a finalist will now be in competition with more than 15,000 other students for scholarships. About 7,250 will earn a Merit Scholarship award.

Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, National Merit Scholarship Corp. will select National Merit Scholars from the finalist group based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments.

PHS recognized Padar’s rare achievement on Thursday during a late-morning assembly.