Owen, Powell, Sabagh named National Merit Semifinalist, top 1% of U.S. high school seniors

BILOXI, Miss.- St. Patrick Catholic High School is proud to announce that three students have been named a 2023 National Merit Semifinalist; Thomas Owen, Caleb Powell and Juliana Sabagh. National Merit Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. This is the first year multiple St. Patrick students have been named National Merit Semifinalist since 2018.

Last October, the St. Patrick Class of 2023 took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, or the PSAT/NMSQT. Out of about 1.6 million high school seniors from around the United States, 16,000 became National Merit Semifinalists based on their academic performance on the PSAT/NMSQT.

Owen is the son of Sam and Kirsten Owen of Gulfport, Powell is the son of Jeffrey and Joy Powell of Gulfport, and Sabagh is the daughter of Sam Sabagh of Ocean Springs.

“I am extremely proud that St. Patrick has three National Merit Semifinalist this year,” Principal Dr. Matt Buckley said. “Thomas, Caleb and Juliana have excelled academically during their time here at St. Patrick, and I am confident that each will continue to excel and make us exceptionally proud.”

Owen, Powell and Sabagh now have the opportunity to continue in the competition to be awarded one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be awarded next spring.


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.