One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200
MSA Students Recognized by National Merit Scholarship Program 
 
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – APRIL 29, 2013 – The students did not know what they thought when University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College Mathematics and Science Academy Principal Stephen Rosales called high school juniors Max Kriegel and Avery Landin to his office last week. 
MSA students
Avery Landin, 17 (left) and Max Kriegel, 16 (right), both juniors at Mathematics and Science Academy at UTB and TSC, are the first students in the academy’s history to be among the 50,000 highest scorers on the PSAT in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.
“Our principal came in and didn’t look happy,” said Kriegel, 16, of Brownsville. “I assumed something bad happened.”
 
The students had known each other since kindergarten and were often home schooled together. The two are only in one class together this semester, a music course.
 
“When we sat down he (Rosales) said, ‘You two did it this time,’” said Kriegel.
Rosales told the students they were the first from the six-year-old Mathematics and Science Academy to receive recognition from the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. The students were among 50,000 high scorers nationally on the fall 2012 administering of the PSAT. 
 
“I was confused,” said Landin, 17, of Brownsville. “I had never thought I would be a Merit Scholar.”
 
The students will find out in September whether they will be among 34,000 nationally commended students or 16,000 semifinalists. If named semifinalists, the students will find out next year if they are among 15,000 finalists. The National Merit Scholarship Program goes on to name 1,300 Special Scholarship recipients and 8,300 Merit Scholarship winners from the group of finalists. Each state sets their own minimum PSAT score to determine commended and semifinalist students.
“We are very excited at the news of our two students,” said Rosales. “I hope they will be selected as semifinalists. Their parents should be very proud of their accomplishment.”
 
 
.
Kriegel had taken the SAT since seventh grade. 
 
“I took it three times before I went to MSA,” he said. “That preparation is probably a reason I got a high score (on the PSAT).”
Before attending the academy, Landin attended First Baptist School and Kriegel was at Coram Deo Classical Academy, both in Brownsville.
Landin had the opportunity to shadow members of the academy’s Class of 2012 before gaining admission. She said she enjoys the discipline needed to complete coursework and study. She balances this with working part-time at Chick-fil-A in Brownsville.
Kriegel said attending the academy was an interesting opportunity. 
 
“It was eye opening,” he said. “It pushes you to work harder. It’s helpful to have students that care as much as you do about success.”
Kriegel said his favorite class this year has been Composition I taught by Dr. Mimosa Stephenson in the Department of English.
“I wasn’t that interested in writing and she made it real interesting,” said Kriegel. 
 
For more information on the Mathematics and Science Academy contact Principal Stephen Rosales at 956-882-5727 or stephen.rosales@utb.edu.
For comments and questions, please contact the Webmaster.