Eleven MSMS Students Named National Merit Finalists

From left to right, starting with the back row: Isaiah Williams, Tyler Etheridge, Nathan Barlow, Jason Necaise, Connor Bluntson, Gregory Thompson, Elizabeth Lanford, Ella Stone, Michelle Li, Meilun Zhou, and Rachel Bobo.

From left to right, starting with the back row: Isaiah Williams, Tyler Etheridge, Nathan Barlow, Jason Necaise, Connor Bluntson, Gregory Thompson, Elizabeth Lanford, Ella Stone, Michelle Li, Meilun Zhou, and Rachel Bobo.

Eleven Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students have been named National Merit Finalists.

Nathan Barlow, of Starkville. Is the son of Jonathan and Ann Barlow. Before attending MSMS, Nathan was a student at Starkville High School.

Connor Bluntson, of Ridgeland, is the son of Craig and Barbara Bluntson. Before attending MSMS, Connor was a student at Ridgeland High School.

Rachel Bobo, of Okolona, is the daughter of Richard and Sara Bobo. Before attending MSMS, Rachel was a student at Tupelo High School.

Tyler Etheridge, of Columbus, is the son of Katrina Etheridge. Before attending MSMS, Tyler was a student at Caledonia High School.

Elizabeth Lanford, of Ridgeland, is the daughter of Charles and Katherine Lanford. Before attending MSMS, Elizabeth was a student at Ridgeland High School.

Michelle Li, of Starkville, is the daughter of Yueming Li and Xi Yan. Before attending MSMS, Michelle was a student at Starkville High School.

Jason Necaise, of Ridgeland, is the son of Jarrod and Carol Necaise. Before attending MSMS, Jason was a student at Ridgeland High School.

Ella Stone, of Tupelo, is the daughter of Richard and Jamie Stone. Before attending MSMS, Ella was a homeschooled student.

Gregory Thompson, of Lamar, is the son of Gregory and Sharla Thompson. Before attending MSMS, Gregory was a student at Byhalia High School.

Isaiah Williams, of Richland, is the son of Kelly Williams. Before attending MSMS, Isaiah was a student at Richland High School.

Meilun Zhou, of Hattiesburg, is the son of Zhaoxian Zhou and Yun Su. Before attending MSMS, Meilun was a student at Oak Grove High School.

Finalists are among the highest scorers of the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) which is administered to 1.5 million students each year. Fifteen thousand of those who took the test were named Finalists (1%). Of the Finalist group, about 7,400 will be awarded with National Merit Scholarships. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation administers the National Merit Scholarship program. During its 61-year history, the NMSC has provided more than 1.5 billion in scholarship dollars to 3 million students.

The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science is the state of Mississippi’s only public, residential high school specifically designed to meet the needs of the state’s most academically gifted and talented students. Founded in 1987, the mission of MSMS is “to enhance the future of Mississippi in the global society by meeting the individual needs of gifted and talented students through providing innovative learning experiences and leadership development in a residential environment. In addition, [the school] will provide quality educational leadership for other educators and aggressive outreach programs that impact students across Mississippi.”

Located on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi, MSMS serves high school juniors and seniors from all corners of the Magnolia State. The school has been named by several publications as one of America’s best high schools. The graduating class of 2015 alone was offered more than $21 million in scholarships. For more information about MSMS, please visit www.themsms.org.