Poplarville student named National Merit Semifinalist

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Poplarville High School senior was recently named as a 2017 National Merit Semifinalist.

His name is Zachary Couvillion and he was selected based on his preliminary SAT score. Couvillion was among 16,000 students in the nation to have been named as a semifinalist, which requires the candidate to score within the top 1 percent in their respective state. He scored a total of 1440, with a 690 in evidence-based reading and writing and a 750 in math.

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“It’s a pleasant feeling and I’m happy for the opportunities this has opened for me,” Couvillion said.

Couvillion is the only student in Pearl River County to have been named as a semifinalist this year.

This accomplishment will allow Couvillion to compete for the National Merit Finalist status, which requires a completed application by the candidate, SAT score and letters of recommendation from educators and school district administrators.

Couvillion said working on the ACT during his junior year really helped him excel on the PSAT.

In a release by Poplarville High School, Principal Jon Will said it means a great deal to have a semifinalist from Poplarville.

“We are extremely proud of Zach and his accomplishment.  He is a wonderful young man and we wish him the very best in his academic career,” Will said.

As semifinalists, students will be vying for several scholarship opportunities.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is expected to award approximately $32 million next spring.

Couvillion has applied to several universities, including Ole Miss, University of Chicago and Northeastern University, with the intention of majoring in math.

“My advice to everyone thinking to take these standardized tests is that it really prepares you to get past the first round of selectivity,” Couvillion said.