Education

These Coast students scored highest in the country on the PSAT

Students at St. Patrick High School toss their caps into the air after graduation in May 2017. Nineteen seniors at high schools across South Mississippi were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists and are eligible to apply for scholarships for college next year.
Students at St. Patrick High School toss their caps into the air after graduation in May 2017. Nineteen seniors at high schools across South Mississippi were named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists and are eligible to apply for scholarships for college next year.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation this week announced the 16,000 semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and 19 of them are from the three Coast counties in South Mississippi.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools took the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The semifinalists represent fewer then 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and were the highest scorers in each state.

Local semifinalists are:

  • Biloxi High School: Spencer Lyman, William Meynardie
  • Gulfport High school: Flora Dedeaux, Kevin Jiang
  • Long Beach High School: Katherine Rorabaugh
  • Ocean Springs High School: Benjamin Dengler, Jesse Harris, Amber Koch, Wyatt Miller, Neha Piracha
  • Pass Christian High School: Kade Frisby, Christina Larson, Darryl Skinner
  • Pass Christian Home School: Jordan Bosarge
  • St. Martin High School: Taylor Barnes
  • St. Patrick Catholic High School: Tyler Jackson, John McKee, Melvin Springer
  • Vancleave High School: Wei Li

These seniors now have the opportunity to compete for about 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million.

The scholarships will be offered next spring, and to be considered the semifinalists must fulfill requirements to advance. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, the nonprofit organization said, and about half of the finalists will will win a scholarship.

The scholarship winners will be announced beginning in April.

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