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MHS’ Patel receives Star Student Honor; Evans named Star Teacher

MHS Star Student Patel Meridian High School Senior BiJen Patel was recently named the STAR Student for the 2020-2021 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. 

“I’m very honored to be named Star Student,” said BiJen Patel. “I would like to thank my teachers, my parents, and my sister especially, and everyone around me that supports me.”

The MHS senior will be listed with the 2021 STAR Students and STAR Teachers in the STAR booklet. 

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. “The STAR program encourages and promotes academic achievement among Mississippi’s high school seniors.  We congratulate all of our STAR Students and STAR Teachers for their exceptional level of achievement,” said Vickie Powell, Senior Vice President of Foundations.  Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, the teacher who has made the greatest contribution to the student’s scholastic achievement.

Matthew Evans was designated as STAR Teacher.  

MHS Star Teacher Matthew Evans Evans, who teaches AP English Literature, has taught for the past four years at Meridian High School and has seven years of total teaching experience.

“I was not surprised at all when I learned Bijen Patel was Star Student,” said Evans. “He puts so much work into preparing for the ACT and always puts so much work into preparing for his classes.”

“I look up to Mr. Evans, he’s an amazing teacher, very underrated… I always tell everyone that,” said Patel. “I respect him so much, he’s very caring and very compassionate about his work.”

Over 600 STAR Students and STAR Teachers will be recognized for their exceptional achievement by MEC’s M.B. Swayze Foundation with medallions, certificates, and lapel pins.  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 STAR is the naming of the Mississippi ALL-STAR Scholar for the 2020–2021 school year and the winner of the coveted $24,000 Cook Foundation Scholarship.  

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