Belk, Mattina Named Commended Students in National Merit Scholarship Program

BILOXI, Miss.- Principal Dr. Matt Buckley is proud to announce that Grace Belk ’22 and Anthony Mattina ’22 have been named Commended Students in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. Belk and Mattina are two of 34,000 students from across the nation being recognized as Commended Students for their exceptional academic promises. They both scored at or above the Commended Student Selection Index score.  

“We are all very proud of Grace and Anthony for attaining this honor,” Principal Dr. Matt Buckley said. “Both are very deserving, and I am confident that both will continue to excel and be most successful in any path they choose. Congratulations, Grace and Anthony, from all of us at St. Patrick!”

Students entered the National Merit Scholarship Program, a nationwide competition for recognition and award conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) offered in October 2020 and January 2021. In April, NMSC identified the 50,000 highest scorers and notified their high schools. Some 16,000 of those high performers were recently designated Semifinalists on a state representational basis. The other 34,000 were named Commended Students.

“I was very proud of myself,” Anthony Mattina said. “I was very excited that my achievements were recognized at a national level.”

“I was surprised when I learned I was named a Commended Student, ” Grace Belk said. “I am very grateful for the education I received at St. Patrick that led me to this point.”

Mattina plans to attend plans to attend either Mississippi State University or the University of Alabama Huntsville and major in astrophysics.

Belk plans to attend Mississippi State University and major in Biochemistry.


St. Patrick Catholic High School is a faith-based, college preparatory high school in Biloxi, Mississippi, and named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in 2019. Established in 2007, St. Patrick is the premier secondary educational institution in South Mississippi and strives each day to Educate Scholars, Train Disciples, and Support Champions. St. Patrick is proud to report a 100% college matriculation rate, ACT and SAT scores that far exceed the state and national averages, and a rich history of Catholic education founded in the traditional roots of our legacy schools of St. John High School, Mercy Cross High School, Notre Dame High School, and Sacred Heart Academy.