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Five Long Beach High School Seniors Named National Merit Finalists


Picture: (L to R) Alexis LaRosa, Michael Chan, Gracie Bush, Mason Mullins, Cameron Frye

By Leigh Anne Biggs

Long Beach, MS – Five Long Beach High School seniors have been selected as National Merit Finalists.  Gracie Bush, Michael Chan, Cameron Frye, Alexis LaRosa, and Mason Mullins received the news from their principal this week.  Bush, Chan and LaRosa all earned Perfect 36 ACT scores.


“We are very proud of these students, their continued achievements and pursuit of excellence,” Long Beach High School Principal Dr. Talia Lock said.  “The National Merit Scholarship Corporation originally identified 50,000 of their top scores and out of that, selected 15,000 to be named as finalists. Long Beach High School is privileged and honored to be home to five of these students.  Their uniqueness, drive, and determination are what sets them apart from others, and I for one cannot wait to see the amazing things they continue to accomplish.”


Gracie Bush is the daughter of Dewayne and Marcie Bush.  After high school, she plans to attend the University of Mississippi and major in International Studies and hopes in the future to have a job where she can help people. 


Michael Chan is the son of Betty Chan.  After high school, Michael plans to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology and major in Game Design and Development.  In the future, he would like to work for a game producing company or make games independently.


Cameron Frye is the son of Kelly and Jeff Frye.  After high school, Cameron plans to attend Mississippi State University and pursue an engineering degree leaving his future open to many options.


Alexis LaRosa is the daughter of David and Susan LaRosa.  After high school, she plans to major in biology and attend the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Duke University or Tulane.  In the future, she would like to work for the National Institute of Health to study neurology and genetics after she completes medical school.


Mason Mullins is the son of Brian and Stacey Mullins.  After high school, he plans to attend the University of South Alabama where he will pursue degrees in both biomedical sciences and economics before heading to medical school.  In the future, he would like to enter the diagnostic radiology field and participate in medical research.


These Long Beach students were among the nearly 15,000 Finalists named in the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s (NMSC) 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. They will now continue on to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered in the spring of 2019. 


All winners of Merit Scholarship® awards (Merit Scholar® designees) are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments —without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is available for NMSC selectors to evaluate: the Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay.


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