Seventeen SHS Seniors Accepted into Early Honors Academy at MSU for 2020-21 Academic Year

Seventeen SHS Seniors Accepted into Early Honors Academy at MSU for 2020-21 Academic Year

SHS and SOSD proudly recognize the 2020-21 class of Early Honors scholars: Jaliyah Akins, Kendall Brutus, John Campbell, Hannah Daniels, Shannon Dewberry, Zoe Elder, Amanda Kaplan, Andrew Keith, Alander Neal, Claire Potts, Sidney Sansing, Sam Schmulsky, Macee Strickland, Sarah Strickland, Matthew Swiderski, Andrew Walters, and Victory Yarbrough.

Claire Potts, a senior at Starkville High School, plans to attend Mississippi State University and major in bio-medical engineering.

She'll arrive on campus in August with nine hours of honors college credit completed in addition to 30 hours of college credit earned through dual credit/dual enrollment and Advanced Placement courses offered at Starkville High School. 

Claire is one of 17 seniors at Starkville High School who were accepted into the Shackouls Honors College Early Honors Academy at MSU during their senior year of high school.

"It's exciting," Claire said. "The courses are thought provoking on their own but attending honors college classes in the Shackouls Honors College and physically being on the MSU campus adds a different level of excitement and energy to my learning experiences at SHS as I prepare for college."

During the Spring 2021 semester, Claire and her fellow senior scholars, gather on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Forum Room at Griffis Hall on the campus of MSU to discuss "Chernobyl: From here to enternity," a course taught by Dr. Angela Farmer, Asst. Clinical Professor of Honors Education.

Recently, students discussed the death of the Soviet empire and the Chernobyl liquidators as they unpacked the damage to the people and the site both then, today and for the next 24,000 years.

"I'm really interested in science and history," said Claire. "We are learning about something that happened in history, and we are also learning about the science behind it."

In addition to lectures and required readings, the students break into small challenge groups to discuss what they've learned.

"Most importantly, as we have discovered the impact of the Chernobyl disaster on the environment, we can use what we have learned to prevent it from happening again."

About Early Honors

Early Honors Academy is a partnership with Mississippi State University, and it offers academically talented seniors the opportunity to engage in dual credit honors college classes held on campus at Griffis Hall, home to the Shackouls Honors College. 

“I’m incredibly proud of our students who have embraced this opportunity to stretch their minds and further their pursuit of knowledge during their senior year of high school,” said Supt. Eddie Peasant who recently spent a morning with the students during their class.

In its second year, the Early Honors Academy expanded from 15 to 20 students who earned up to nine hours of college credit.

"We're excited about the growth of the program, and we're excited about the growth of the students who are enrolled in the Early Honors Academy," said Dr. Farmer, who has already begun recruiting for the third class of Early Honors scholars.

"We plan to offer 12 hours of honors college credit for the 2021-22 class, which would include two courses in the fall and two courses in the spring," said Farmer.

Learn more about the Academic Houses at Starkville High School at

Learn more about the Shackouls Honors College at