Gazebo Gazette

Long Beach High School’s STAR Student, Luke Salisbury, has been selected as a National Merit Finalist. Salisbury earned a composite score of 35 on his ACT earning him the LBHS STAR Student designation.

From this honor, he was named a National Merit Semifinalist and was selected as a finalist from that group.

Salisbury is the son of Tammy and John Salisbury. After high school, he plans to attend Mississippi State University and study Mechanical Engineering while engaging in undergraduate research.

“My time at Long Beach High School has successfully prepared me for the next stage in my life and has given me the support I need to succeed. I will forever be grateful for the steps my teachers took to prepare me for the future and the unique experiences that made my time here so wonderful,” Salisbury said.

Following college, Salisbury plans to own his own engineering firm after several years in the workforce.

As the STAR Student for LBHS, Salisbury had the honor of naming his STAR Teacher. A STAR Teacher is someone the STAR Student feels made a difference in their educational career. He selected Jonathan Hart.

“I have known Mr. Hart for four years now, and ever since we met, he was the kind, nurturing soul that guided me through high school.  Either as a Quizbowl coach, a teacher, or a mentor, Mr. Hart always takes an active role in the lives of his students, and I was no different,” Salisbury said. “If I was having trouble with anything, he was there for me.  When I needed help, he was always the first to offer me a hand.  When I needed guidance, he was always there to listen.  No person at Long Beach High School was a better teacher, mentor, and friend to me than Mr. Hart, and no one is more deserving of being my STAR Teacher than him.  My success at Long Beach would have been impossible without the guidance of Mr. Hart, and it goes without saying that Long Beach High School would be a completely different place without him.”

Hart was honored by his selection and admires Salisbury’s commitment to everything he does.

“Aside from being an absolutely brilliant student, Luke is one of if not the most dedicated people I have ever had the privilege to teach,” Hart said.

“He puts every ounce of himself into everything he does.  There is no halfway with Luke.  Once Luke commits to something, he will work harder than everyone to ensure that he is the absolute best competitor, teammate, and student he can be.  His dedication and preparedness are unrivaled.  He truly is one of the most organized and dependable human beings I have ever met, and he is only in high school.  I know that Luke will continue his persistence beyond high school and be extremely successful in his future endeavors.  His parents did an amazing job in raising him to not only be a great student, but also a wonderful person.”

Salisbury is now among the nearly 15,000 Finalists named in the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s (NMSC) National Merit Scholarship Program. He will now continue to compete with other finalists for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships.

Announcements of these winners will begin in April and conclude in July.

All winners of Merit Scholarship® awards (Merit Scholar® designees) are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments —without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

A variety of information is available for NMSC selectors to evaluate: the Finalist’s academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities, and leadership, and the Finalist’s essay.