April 13, 2022

HATTIESBURG, MS— Each year the National Merit Scholarship Corporation identifies students across the United States who have scored at a very high level on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying test (PSAT/NMSQT) as semifinalists. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of United States high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

Earlier this year, PCS announced that two students in the PCS Class of 2022 were named National Merit Semifinalists. Today, we are filled with pride to announce that Mr. Sam Powell and Mr. Sterling Robbins both advanced to the distinction of National Merit Finalists.

Only (0.45%) of high school seniors earn the distinction of National Merit Finalist each year.

This hard-earned distinction by Mr. Powell and Mr. Robbins make for a total of 57 students from PCS who have been named National Merit Scholars since the year of 2000. We are proud to be the leading MAIS school with these honors. Earning the distinction of National Merit Finalist is one of the highest honors a high school student can obtain.

Our College Counselor, Dr. Joshua Bowen, proudly states, “As a National Merit Finalist, these students truly have the world at their feet as they plan their next steps forward. Many National Merit Finalists are afforded full scholarships for all four years of their undergraduate degree, and both Sam and Sterling become a part of that elite club of high school students who have worked very hard for this outcome. It has been my distinct honor to work with these two young men this year to help them accomplish this goal, and I look forward to watching their success as they both attend the University of Alabama. We are all so proud of both of them and all they have accomplished to date.”

PCS Head of School Dr. Seth Parrish shares, “It has been a joy and a blessing to have had the privilege to know Sam Powell and Sterling Robbins. I have been amazed and inspired by their insatiable pursuit of excellence in all things, their leadership among their peers, and most of all the character they have displayed over the years as they have studied His Word. Our mission statement talks about our aim to prepare our students adequately for college. Education is the bread and butter of our day-to-day calling. However, these efforts would be in vain if that education wasn’t under the banner of Christ. We are very proud of both of these young men and pray the legacy of truth, honor, and loyalty will continue with them for all their days.”

Sam Powell will be attending The University of Alabama next year with a double major in electrical engineering and piano. Sam shares, “This honor means so much to me. I’ve looked up to a lot of students before me at PCS who were National Merit Finalists, and so now that I am one, I feel like I have reached their academic level that has been a goal of mine for quite some time. I feel very honored to be considered part of some of the top students in the nation.” Sam has been a student at PCS for the last fourteen years.

Sterling Robbins will be attending The University of Alabama next year and intends to major in chemical engineering on a pre-med track. Sterling shares, “Being named a National Merit Finalist means so much to me because of all the lessons I have learned about work ethic and devotion. I am very thankful to God for putting me in this amazing position.” Sterling has been a student at PCS for the last thirteen years.

For more information and media inquiries, please contact Director of Communications, Kami Bonner via email at or by phone at 765-215-1334.

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