Local High Schoolers Accepted to MSMS

Published 10:30 am Thursday, May 10, 2018

Four local students are preparing to leave home for a new journey at the Mississippi School of Mathematics and Science.

MSMS, located in Columbus, Miss., is the state’s only residential public high school specifically designed for academically gifted students. Located on the Mississippi College for Women campus, MSMS was recently ranked the 8th-best public high school in the nation, with the number one-ranked faculty in the nation, according to NICHE.

The school accepts incoming juniors. Next school year, the new crop of students will include Jack Elliott and Cecile Roberts from Lafayette High School, and Niamke Buchanan and James Torrent from Oxford High School.

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According to Dr. Germain McConnell, the school’s executive director, the students from Lafayette County are more than prepared to continue their education at MSMS in the fall.

“Like other students across the state who receive invitations to attend MSMS, the students from Lafayette County have shown us through the admissions process their passion for academics,” McConnell said. “These students’ success is due in part to the high quality of schools in Lafayette County and the extraordinary job they have done in preparing students to compete with other students across the state for admissions to MSMS.”

Out of 273 applicants from across the state, the school only accepted about 120 incoming juniors this year.

The school offers a variety of programs for its students, including mentorships, research opportunities, hands-on engineering courses, entrepreneurship training and summer programs. Cecile Roberts said she is looking forward to taking advantage of these programs, especially the mentorships.

“I wanted to go to MSMS because I feel like there are teachers there who are really passionate about what they do, and that’s something I really desire,” Roberts said. “Their mentorship program is really cool to me. I want to become a cultural anthropologist, and I’m excited to learn more through that.”

Roberts said her parents, Lyn and Doug, have supported and encouraged her dream of attending MSMS since she was in the 8th grade.

Because MSMS is a residential school, students move away from home long before their peers. Spending time in the dorms and away from parents and friends might seem intimidating to some, but Jack Elliott said the experience is one his parents encouraged.

“Being far away from home does not bother me much, although I am not happy to be away,” Elliott said. “[My parents] were actually the ones that wanted me to apply, and they were very excited when they found out I got in, maybe even more than I was. We went to Toyo after I got my letter to celebrate.”

During his time at MSMS, Elliott said he hopes to take specialized classes that will help him towards his goal of becoming a video game designer.

Elliott also added that attending the school will give him “more credibility” when it comes to applying for colleges. Students attending MSMS definitely seem to be doing well in the post-secondary education arena – the class of 2017 raked in a combined $28 million in scholarships to universities across the country.

For more information on MSMS, visit www.themsms.org. At press time, the students from OHS had not responded to request for comment.