MSMS Connects

MSMS CONNECTS is the official monthly newsletter of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. MSMS is Mississippi's only public, residential high school focused on STEM education and specifically designed to meet the needs of the state's most academically gifted and talented students.

MSMS Celebrates National Ranking


For the second year in a row, the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) has been ranked among the top public high schools in the nation by Niche.

MSMS was ranked the sixth Best Public School in the United States out of 18,841 public schools and faculty were ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row among 18,504 public high schools. It is the second year in a row for MSMS to be named among the top 10.

“This is not only a great achievement for MSMS, but also for the state of Mississippi,” said Dr. Germain McConnell, MSMS executive director. “We are an extension of other schools in Mississippi, proudly hosting students from all corners of the state.” 

On Monday, October 15, MSMS had a celebration to commemorate the national rankings. Several local and state legislators, community officials, campus administrators, former faculty and staff, and alumni talked about what the rankings mean to them and why they are important for the state of Mississippi.  The celebration included lab demonstrations, campus tours, class previews, student presentations, a school overview, a block party on the steps of Hooper Academic building, and a reception followed in Cochran Ballroom. Proclamations were presented from the city of Columbus by vice-mayor Bill Gavin and from the state by State Representatives, Kabir Karriem and Chiekh Taylor, and State Senator Charles “Chuck” Younger. “Education is the new currency for the 21 century! Mississippi School for Math and Science exemplifies excellence and is a beacon of light for young people across this country! Columbus MS and the state of Mississippi should be proud,” said Representative Karriem.

“The Niche ranking recognizes the results of the hard work and dedication of faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. McConnell.

Esmond Tsang, a junior from D’Iberville, said, “At MSMS, students from all over Mississippi get to converge our talents in one place. Alongside our academic successes, there is no end to what the extracurriculars we may do and start. Only with the faculty (which happens to be number one in the nation) can so much be done. Daily, our teachers and administration teach, guide and support each one of us.”

MSMS math teacher, Lauren Zarandona, said, “Being part of the No. 1 faculty is confirmation that I work with dedicated, capable professionals who want to make a positive difference in the lives of their students. It also suggests that our institution as a whole supports teaching and learning; we thrive under supportive administration practices with students who have the necessary tools for mastery.”

To compile the rankings, Niche looked at data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as test scores, teacher-student ratio, graduation rates, college data and ratings collected from Niche users.

A complete list of the rankings can be found at

Janie ShieldsComment