Tupelo • Fifteen Northeast Mississippi seniors were among the 142 Mississippi high school students to be named 2020 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists.

They’re part of a group of 16,000 semifinalists announced on Sept. 9 across the country who will have the opportunity to compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $30 million total, which will be awarded next spring.

More than 90% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, while more than half will win a National Merit Scholarship and earn the Merit Scholar title.

Semifinalists must submit a detailed scholarship application where they provide information about their academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.

National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced between April and July 2021.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a not-for-profit organization established in 1955 to conduct the annual scholarship program. The scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions.

More than 1.5 million high school juniors from around 21,000 high schools in the U.S. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represent less than 1% of high school seniors and include the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists per state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

Northeast Mississippi’s National Merit Scholar Semifinalists include:


Bobby G. Jarrell Itawamba County Agricultural High School


Brady S. Bobjak – Tishomingo County High School


Jonathan S. Caudill – Homeschool

Noble N. Shirley – Lafayette High School

Claire T. Cizdziel – Oxford High School

Edmund S. Doerksen – Oxford High School

Kareem M. Elgohry – Oxford High School

Anna Kang – Oxford High School

Alexander J.Mobley – Oxford High School

Ann C. Rester – Oxford High School

Emmanuelle R. Teng – Oxford High School

Abigail T. Atchley – Regents School


Katherine I. Leigh – Starkville High School


Mallory G. Peters – Tupelo High School


Brendan P. Harrison – Union High School


Twitter: @AlsupTheWriter

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