During 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 changed the face of education. School closures upended life for children and families, and educators were forced to determine how to provide distance learning. Educators and students across the country worked to accommodate socially distanced and virtual schools, while also supporting their student's fears and concerns. 

Furthermore, Covid 19 intensified the need for internet access across Mississippi. The COVID-19 virus has fundamentally changed the way we live and operate in our communities. As a result, precautions were taken and students overcame obstacles to meet the benchmarks to receive the Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master designations. 

Depending on the school district, some attended in-person classes, took virtual classes online, or utilized both methods with a hybrid approach. Today, the Mississippi Scholars and/or Tech Master program is in all 82 counties in Mississippi. Ensuring academic success is up to all of us. 
Vickie Powell
Senior Vice President, Foundations
Mississippi Economic Council
  • Continue to work with schools to build out the Mississippi Scholars and Tech Master programs as an integral part of the school and community to establish and build a pipeline that is attainable and sustainable.
  • Work with schools and the business community to provide opportunities for internships, externships, apprenticeships, mentoring, and job shadowing.  
  • Participate in virtual meetings with schools and communities.  
  • Enhance Community-School Partnership by asking stakeholders what matters to them and how we can help. Every community is different and a one-size-fits-all approach will not work.
  • Work with local businesses and subject matter experts to connect core curriculum to the outside world and design engaging learning experiences in and out of the classroom.
  • Reach out to all stakeholders in the local communities.
MEC’s STAR Program Honors Top 3 ALL-STAR Students
An Itawamba Agricultural High School student with a perfect 36 composite score on the American College Test (ACT), combined scores of 144 and average of 100.08 has been named Mississippi’s TOP ALL-STAR Scholar for 2021.

Bobby G. Jarrell is the son of Bobby and Jennifer Jarrell of Fulton, MS. Jarrell will receive a $24,000 scholarship provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. He plans to attend Mississippi State and study Mathematics.

Austin Van Lam, a Long Beach High School STAR Student, has been named 1st runner-up and will receive a $20,000 Scholarship from the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. His parents are Jie and Liem Lam. Lam designated Aimee Chambliss-Dunaway of Vancleave as his STAR Teacher. Chambliss-Dunaway has been teaching for 5 year and this is her first time being named STAR Teacher.

Jackson A. Flowers, a Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science STAR Student, has been named 2nd runner-up and will receive a $16,000 Scholarship from the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation, Inc. His parents are Merle Flowers and Stacey Austin. Flowers designated Philip Benge of Columbus as his STAR Teacher. Benge has been teaching for 4 years. He has been named STAR Teacher 4 times.

Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher – the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement. Jarrell designated Christopher D. Johnson as his STAR Teacher. Johnson has been teaching for 20 years and this is his 13th time to be named STAR Teacher.
MEC’s STAR Program Honors 5 Hall of Fame Teachers
Danny O. Alexander
Lamar School
Wendy H. Cawthorn
Bogue Chitto School
Elizabeth H. Chance
Presbyterian Christian School
Chantell Herchenhahn
Forest High School
Kimberly M. Van Uden
Jackson Preparatory School
Student Spotlight: Devin Terrell Scott -
Terry High School Mississippi Scholar
Devin Terrell Scott is the son of Dexter and Ava Scott of Jackson, MS. He recently graduated from Terry High School in Terry, Mississippi with distinguished honors (4.0 or higher GPA). In addition to distinguished honors, Devin received a Mississippi Scholars Award and a Subject Area Award in Botany. 

While at Terry High School, Devin served as Terry High School Band Trumpet Section Leader, a Beta Club Member, and a Senior ACT 25+ Club Member. 

Devin received the following scholarship offers: 

  1. Mississippi State University Lucky Day Scholarship
  2. Mississippi State University Colvard Future Leader Scholarship
  3. University of Southern Mississippi Academic Excellence Scholarship
  4. Jackson State University Medallion Academic Scholarship. 

Devin is currently enrolled in summer courses at Jackson State University and is pursuing a degree in computer engineering. On July 25, 2021, Devin completed THEE Aristocrats STEM and Health Sciences Program Summer Boot Camp at Jackson State University. Committed to academic excellence, Devin has already chartered the course to excel in his chosen professional career path as a future computer engineer.
Ingalls Shipbuilding Extends 29 Full-Time Job Offers
to High School Seniors
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has extended full-time job offers to 29 high school seniors across coastal Mississippi and Alabama who have successfully completed Ingalls Shipbuilder Academy.

“These students earned a place in this program because of their mechanical skills and academic performance; and by working hard and maintaining great attendance,” said Edmond Hughes, Ingalls’ Vice President of human resources and administration. “They will join more than 11,000 Ingalls Shipbuilding employees who are proud to be building the greatest ships in the world.”

Out of the 29 students receiving job offers, 15 were Mississippi students and 10 of those are Tech Master Graduates. All 6 of the Pascagoula Gautier School District students attending the Maritime Academy and receiving job offers are Tech Master Scholars, our students are the six seated on the front row in the photo. Congratulations to:

  • Christian Hall
  • Breanna Walters
  • Ka’Ron Leverette
  • Keonta Steward
  • Cancel Montalvo
  • Sean Smith Jr.
What is the Public Education Forum (PEF)?

The Public Education Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan education policy research group created by a broad cross-section of business, education and political leaders in Mississippi. Founded in 1989, the Forum is committed to being the leading independent force for public education in the state.

The mission of the Public Education Forum is "Committed to Excellence in Mississippi's Public Schools."  
Get program updates, education information, and resources on the STAR and Public Education Forum Facebook Pages!
Benefits for Students of Mississippi Scholars and 
Mississippi Scholars Tech Master Programs 
  1. Medallion for each program
  2. Certificate for each program
  3. Preference given in the hiring process for Mississippi Scholars Tech Master (Ingalls Shipbuilding, Sanderson Farms, United Furniture)
  4. Designation on high school transcript and high school diploma for each program
  5. Give back through community service for each program

The ultimate goal is not only to produce a more tech-savvy young workforce but also to foster well-rounded, civic-minded individuals who are job or college ready. MEC encourages communities to partner with their local businesses to offer college scholarships and incentives for Tech Master graduates.
Thank You for Supporting Mississippi Scholars
and Mississippi Scholars Tech Master! 

The Mississippi Scholars program started in 2003 in two counties and two pilot school districts. In 2004, the program recognized 24 graduates with the designation. In 2014, the Mississippi Scholars Tech Master program was created to recognize students in Career Technical Education (CTE) in seven pilot counties. 

Combined, both programs have grown and recognized more than 68,077 high school graduates with the designations compared to 62,577 in 2020. All students are recognized with a medallion, certificate, and seals for the high school diploma and transcript for completing the Mississippi Scholars and/or Tech Master Course of Study at no cost to the schools or districts.

Below is an estimated seven-year summary to compare the growth of both programs.  

Mississippi Scholars Graduates Eight-Year Summary:

  • 2014 - 4,237
  • 2015 - 4,325
  • 2016 - 4,380
  • 2017 - 5,122
  • 2018 - 5,717
  • 2019 - 4,843 
  • 2020 - 4,520
  • 2021 - 4,102

Mississippi Scholars Tech Master Graduates Eight-Year Summary:

  • 2014 - 285
  • 2015 - 784
  • 2016 - 1,269
  • 2017 - 1,132
  • 2018 - 1,709
  • 2019 - 1,718
  • 2020 - 2,053
  • 2021 - 1,402
Medallion that is given to
Mississippi Scholars Graduates.
Medallion that is given to
Mississippi Scholars Tech Master Graduates.
It pays to get students workforce ready! Here's how: With the new "Success is a Cycle, Are YOU In?" program from Mississippi Scholars, Mississippi Scholars Tech Master, and Get on the Grid! The powerpoint is available at mississippischolars.ms and on YouTube.
Learn more about Mississippi's most in-demand careers at  getonthegridms.com.
Get started today!

For more information on how to get involved with Mississippi Scholars or Tech Master, contact Vickie Powell, Senior Vice President of Foundations.
Public Education Forum of Mississippi
Mississippi Scholars/Mississippi Scholars Tech Master
248 E. Capitol Street, Suite 940 - Jackson, Mississippi 39201
P.O. Box 23276 - Jackson, Mississippi 39225-3276
Phone: 601-969-0022 - 1-800-748-7626
Fax: 601-353-0247 - 1-888-717-2809
Click Here for PEF Website