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MHS’ Jenkins receives Star Student Honor; Reed named Star Teacher

MHS' Star Student and Star Teacher


March 7, 2023 - Meridian High School Senior Haley Jenkins was recently named the STAR Student for the 2022-2023 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) M. B. Swayze Foundation, sponsor of the Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program. 


Established by the Mississippi Economic Council in 1965, the purpose of the STAR program is to recognize outstanding students & teachers in Mississippi through its Education Celebration.  Our theme this year is: The Pursuit of Excellence.

The Meridian High School senior will be honored during the annual Education Celebration on April 13, 2023, at the Clyde Muse Center, 515 Country Place Parkway in Pearl, MS. 

"I’m very excited to be named Star Student,” said Haley Jenkins, MHS Senior and Star Student. “It just lets me know that my hard work has paid off over these four years. I’m very grateful.” 

Star Students are selected on the basis of academic excellence.  Both American College Test scores and scholastic averages are compared to determine the school’s STAR Student, explained Vickie Powell of Jackson, Senior Vice President of Foundations.  “The STAR program encourages and promotes academic achievement among Mississippi’s high school seniors,” she said.  Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement.

After graduation, Jenkins plans to attend Mississippi State in the Fall, majoring in Biological Sciences with a Pre-Dental tract. Haley plans to become a pediatric dentist.

"First of all — she doesn’t take 'No' for an answer and her determination enabled her to put forth every effort that she needed to excel in the classroom," said Vanessa Reed, 2023 MHS Star Teacher.

Ms. Vanessa Reed was designated as STAR Teacher.  

Over 600 STAR Students and STAR Teachers will receive recognition from MEC’s M.B. Swayze Foundation at the Celebration.  The top 20 STAR Students –The ALL-STAR Scholars – will receive scholarships and their STAR Teachers will receive awards provided by the Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Charitable Foundation.  The highlight of the Education Celebration will be the naming of the Mississippi ALL-STAR Scholar for the 2022-2023 school year, winner of the coveted $24,000 Cook Foundation Scholarship.

“It is truly an honor,” said Vanessa Reed, 2023 MHS Star Teacher. “I feel blessed to have Haley in my life, not just as a student, but also serving as her mentor."

"Ms. Reed is like my mother away from home, she’s always on me, but you can tell she loves you, that’s why I chose Ms. Reed," said Jenkins.


About Meridian Public School District: The Meridian Public School District prepares all students in a parent and community partnership to be literate, self-directed learners with the confidence and character to compete in a complex and ever-changing world. MPSD serves 5,200 students on 13 school campuses. For more information, please visit us on the web at