Best of the Best: 86 Mississippi students selected as 2021 Presidential Scholars

Published 1:32 pm Monday, February 1, 2021

Eighty six Mississippi students have been selected at 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars candidates.

Students who have been selected as candidates for the national award have an opportunity to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar.  The scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people.

All students who have made it to the candidacy level were mailed the necessary materials from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the next phase of the application process.   The application process is a distinguished honor and by invitation only.  Only students who have been selected as a candidate in each state received this invitation.

A national review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and the quality and content of their essays. Semifinalists will be announced in April and the final scholars list will be announced in May. Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., pending Covid-19 guidelines, to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.  In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.   In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

To confirm their interest and assist in the final selection process, candidates must complete and return all candidacy materials they received from the U.S. Department of Education, which includes required essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports, and transcripts.  These materials must be received by the U.S. Department of Education U.S. Presidential Scholars Program no later than 5 p.m. Central on Tuesday, Feb. 24.   It is highly recommended that candidates submit the entire application packet through the U.S. Department of Education’s Online Application System (OLAS) as noted in their application materials.

Mississippi candidates are:

  • Saatvik R. Agrawal, Clinton – St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
  • Benjamin P. Armstrong, Olive Branch – Lewisburg High School
  •  Kendall Austin, Madison – Germantown High School
  • Ian A. Avant, Southaven – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Andrew H. Banks, Brandon – Jackson Preparatory School
  • Patricia A. Bethea, Madison – Madison Central High School
  • Byron M. Bishop, Ridgeland – St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
  • Kimberly Blount, Ridgeland – Jackson Preparatory School
  • Brady Scott Bobjack, Iuka – Tishomingo County High School
  • Jonathan L. Bowles, Buckatunna – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Michelle E. Bramlett, Ridgeland – St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
  • William P. Brett, Hattiesburg – Presbyterian Christian School [**]
  • Trace Brown, Raleigh – Raleigh High School
  • Rebecca L. Burrow, Jackson – Jackson Preparatory School
  • Jaemin Byeon, Meridian – Lamar Foundation High School
  • Abigail E. Calimaran, Madison – St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
  • Wyatt A. Carter, Petal – Petal High School [**]
  • Amber Cecil, Hernando – Lewisburg High School
  • Ethan Choi, Hattiesburg – Oak Grove High School
  • Regan T. Christensen, Gulfport – Long Beach Senior High School
  • Symantha A. Cummings, Olive Branch – Olive Branch High School [**]
  • Carsson Deyoung, Clinton – Clinton High School
  • Robert P. Difatta, Ocean Springs – Ocean Springs High School
  • Edmund S. Doerksen, Oxford – Oxford High School
  • Samhita G. Dulam, Natchez – Deerfield Academy
  • Carson G. Ewing, Olive Branch – Center Hill Middle High School
  • Jackson A. Flowers, Olive Branch – Southern Baptist Educ Center
  • Katherine Grisham, Ripley – Ripley High School [**]
  • Dalton H. Harmon, Madison – Germantown High School
  • James Riley Hogue, Blue Mountain – Ripley High School
  • Elizabeth F. Hurst, Jackson – Jackson Preparatory School
  • Forrest Hutchison, Jackson – St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
  • Lachassity Jackson, Mccomb – Mccomb High School
  • Jamar Jackson Ii, Laurel – R H Watkins High School
  • Omar Jamil, Hernando – Desoto Central High School
  • Bobby G. Jarrell, Amory – Itawamba Co Agr High School
  • Manitejus Kotikalapudi, Hattiesburg – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Robert A. Kyser, Madison – Germantown High School
  • Brandon J. Ladner, Leakesville – Greene County High School
  • Austin V. Lam, Long Beach – Long Beach Senior High School
  • John R. Laws, Madison – Madison-Ridgeland Academy
  • Nathan M. Lechner, Biloxi – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Isabelle C. Lee, Brandon – Jackson Academy
  • Jacob Lindsey, Shannon – Shannon High School
  • Michael A. Lu, Starkville – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Taylor L. May, Clinton – Clinton High School
  • Callie Mcarty, Hattiesburg – Oak Grove High School
  • John E. Mccommon, Southaven – Lewisburg High School
  • Autumn Mchenry, Saltillo – Saltillo High School
  • Zachary C. Medlin, Olive Branch – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Lucy G. Mellen, Hattiesburg – Sacred Heart High School
  • Caleb S. Miller, Clinton – Clinton High School
  • Tristan Montgomery, Sumrall – Sumrall High School
  • Carter E. Moore, Grenada – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Yahya Naveed, Madison – St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
  • Anh H. Nguyen, Meridian – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Lauren Noe, Brandon – Jackson Preparatory School
  • Lindsey E. Patrick, Brandon – Brandon High School
  • Mason K. Pettit, Grenada – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Anna I. Price, Meridian – Lamar Foundation High School
  • Kylie Price, Clinton – Clinton High School
  • Jackson R. Puleo, Southaven – Southern Baptist Educ Center
  • Adkerson G. Pyron, Biloxi – Biloxi High School
  • Svanik R. Ravi, Meridian – Lamar Foundation High School
  • James Riley, Iuka – Tishomingo County High School
  • James A. Roberson, Jackson – Jackson Preparatory School
  • Mallory P. Roberts, Olive Branch – Southern Baptist Educ Center
  • Ethan C. Rogers, Hernando – Hernando High School
  • William E. Shy, Cleveland – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Garrett Simmerman, Olive Branch – Lewisburg High School
  • Henry T. Smith, Meridian – Lamar Foundation High School
  • Sailie I. Smith, Biloxi – Biloxi High School
  • Jack D. Standard, Hernando – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Cale D. Taylor, Brandon – Northwest Rankin High School
  • Emmanuelle R. Teng, Oxford – Oxford High School
  • Judith A. Thomas, Madison – Madison Central High School [**]
  • Marley Elizabeth Thorton, Raleigh – Raleigh High School
  • Madisyn Tingle, Newton – Newton High School
  • Muneebah Umar, Starkville – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Olivia Wachsman, Moss Point – George County High School
  • Aaron L. Wan, Starkville – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Kieredith Wilkins, Saltillo – Saltillo High School
  • Sarah Williams, Brandon – Northwest Rankin High School
  • John C. Wright, Hernando – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science
  • Albert Xu, Madison – Madison Central High School
  • Matthew L. Yin, Madison – Madison Central High School

[*] Candidate for U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts. [**] Candidate for U.S Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education. [***] Candidate for U.S. Presidential Scholar and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. [****] Candidate for U.S. Presidential Scholar and U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education.