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MSMS moves up in national ranking

For the second year in a row, the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) has been ranked among the top public high schools in the nation by Niche.

MSMS was ranked the sixth Best Public School in the United States out of 18,841 public schools and faculty were ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row among 18,504 public high schools. It is the second year in a row for MSMS to be named among the top 10.

“This is not only a great achievement for MSMS, but also for the state of Mississippi,” said Dr. Germain McConnell, MSMS executive director. “We are an extension of other schools in Mississippi, proudly hosting students from all corners of the state.” 

He added, “the residential environment allows the institution to provide extensive learning experiences and leadership development for students both inside and outside the classroom that help them achieve extraordinary results.” 

“Some students see as much as a 10-13 point increase on their ACT composite scores over the two-year period they are enrolled with us,” said McConnell. “We continue to see our graduates garner prestigious national awards and scholarships.” Last year alone, the Class of 2018 accepted more than $9.7 million in scholarships, which is approximately $93,000 per graduate.  

To compile the rankings, Niche looked at data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as test scores, teacher-student ratio, graduation rates, college data and ratings collected from Niche users.

“The Niche ranking recognizes the results of the hard work and dedication of faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. McConnell.

Esmond Tsang, a junior from D’Iberville, said, “At MSMS, students from all over Mississippi get to converge our talents in one place. Alongside our academic successes, there is no end to what the extracurriculars we may do and start. Only with the faculty (which happens to be number one in the nation) can so much be done. Daily, our teachers and administration teach, guide and support each one of us.”Quote from Esmond

MSMS math teacher, Lauren Zarandona, said, “Being part of the No. 1 faculty is confirmation that I work with dedicated, capable professionals who want to make a positive difference in the lives of their students. It also suggests that our institution as a whole supports teaching and learning; we thrive under supportive administration practices with students who have the necessary tools for mastery.”

MSMS is Mississippi’s only public, residential high school specifically designed to meet the needs of Mississippi’s most academically talented students. The school, which was established in 1987 and located on the campus of Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi, serves high school juniors and seniors from every corner of the Magnolia State.

Additionally, MSMS is a member of the National Consortium for Secondary STEM schools (NCSSS), and at the founding was the fourth such school to exist in the nation.

A complete list of the rankings can be found at

Janie ShieldsComment
2018 Commencement
class of 2017.jpg

Join us live on Saturday, May 26 at 11:00 am for the graduation of the MSMS Class of 2018. The 103 students who make up this class have accepted nearly $9.6 million in college aid, with the median being $66,903. 

Graduation will take place in Rent Auditorium on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women. This year's commencement speaker is Dr. J. Racquel Collins, Assistant Dean of St Jude Children's Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. 

MSMS Student, Helen Peng, Wins Congressional Art Competition
Helen Peng Congressional Art.JPG

Helen Peng, current junior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, was selected as a winner for the 2018 Congressional Art Competition. Ms. Peng was selected to represent district one for the state of Mississippi by the Office of U.S. Congressman Trent Kelly.

The Congressional Art Competition is an annual event hosted by the Congressional Institute. It is a visual arts competition open to high school students across the United States with the aim of recognizing and showcasing artistic talent from each congressional district. Interested students submit their entries to their representative’s office to be judged by panels of artists from that district. Winners are recognized through a reception in their district and are then invited to attend a national awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works of art are displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

Ms. Peng was honored at a reception at Farmington City Hall on Thursday, April 26 and won two tickets to Washington, DC to attend the national reception in June. 

Janie ShieldsComment
MSMS Soccer Players Selected to the MSHAA All-District Soccer Team
 Not pictured: Sarah Swiderski.

Not pictured: Sarah Swiderski.

The following MSMS Soccer Players were selected to the MSHSAA Region 4 1A/2A/3A All-District Soccer team by the district soccer coaches.

For the Lady Waves, Defender Sarah Swiderski, Mid-Fielder Madison Wypyski, and Forward Erin Williams were selected 1st Team All-District.

Goal-Keeper Gabby Kennedy, along Mid-Fielders Amber Means and Mia Riddley were selected 2nd Team All-District.

Additionally, Erin Williams was selected District Best MF/Fwd, and Gabby Kennedy was selected District Best Goal-Keeper.

For the Blue Waves, Defenders Brent Styles and Morgan Emokpae wer selected 1st Team All-District.

Mid-Fielder David Thaggard and Forward Daniel Leetran were selected 2nd Team All-District.

Congratulations to each of these players for their hard work and accomplishments!

   From left to right:  Morgan Emokpae, Brent Styles, David Thaggard, Daniel Leetran.

From left to right:  Morgan Emokpae, Brent Styles, David Thaggard, Daniel Leetran.

   From left to right:  Amber Means, Mia Riddley, Gabby Kennedy, Madison Wypyski, Erin Williams.  Not pictured: Sarah Swiderski.

From left to right:  Amber Means, Mia Riddley, Gabby Kennedy, Madison Wypyski, Erin Williams.  Not pictured: Sarah Swiderski.

Janie ShieldsComment
MSMS Sweeps State Mu Alpha Theta Convention

On Sunday, April 15 and Monday, April 16, students from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science competed in the 2018 Mu Alpha Theta State Convention at Mississippi College. 

Mu Alpha Theta is the national high school mathematics society and was formed in 1957 at the University of Oklahoma with a mission to encourage and inspire an interest in mathematics scholarship among high schoolers across the United States. Each state organizes an annual statewide convention for students and teachers to participate in math-related competitions designed to reward outstanding extracurricular achievement in the field of mathematics.

This year, the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science won the overall sweepstakes prize at the state convention! The team was led by William Johnson and Leah Pettit, both seniors at MSMS. Additionally, Gary Nguyen and Jim Zhang, also current seniors at MSMS, were instrumental in organizing and overseeing team practices. Mrs. Lauren Zarandona, Mathematics Faculty at MSMS, served as the club’s sponsor and devoted countless hours to assist the team on their quest to conquer the state convention competition. Congratulations to the entire Mu Alpha Theta team for their excellent academic performance at the state convention. 

Below is a complete summary of individual and team awards:

Ezra McWilliams- Algebra 2, 5th place

Michelle Luo- Trig/Pre-Cal, 1st place

Liz Huynh-  Trig/Pre-Cal, 8th place

Danail Dimitrov-  Trig/Pre-Cal, 9th place

Connor Chitmon- College Algebra, 2nd place

Aidan Warren- College Algebra, 4th place

Kevin Liao- Statistics, 1st place

Maria Kaltchenko-  Statistics, 4th place; Chalk Talk, 1st place

Lori Feng-  Statistics, 7th place

Leah Pettit-  Statistics, 8th place

Hamilton Wan- Calculus- 1st place

Brent Styles-  Calculus- 2nd place

Aidan Dunkelberg-  Calculus- 7th place

Victoria Gong-  Calculus- 8th place


As a team, MSMS won:

4th place Banner

2nd place Scrapbook

4th place Logo

1st place Video (thanks to Kendra Bradley, Michelle Luo, and Vivienne Tenev)

6th place Junior Ciphering

1st place Intermediate Ciphering

1st place Advanced Ciphering

1st place Potpourri

3rd place Hustle

1st place Relay

2nd place Interschool

Janie ShieldsComment