Sacred Heart’s Thiffiley is National Merit finalist


Sacred Heart Catholic High School recently announced senior August Sohbian Thriffiley has been named a National Merit Scholar by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Thriffiley, who was selected from more than 16,000 semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, will compete later this year for about 7,500 available $2,500 National Merit Scholarships.

“When I was named a finalist, part of me was surprised, but mostly I felt relieved,” said Thriffiley, who is a member of Sacred Heart’s STEM Team and Quizbowl Team. “I had been waiting to hear my status for several months, and given that a lot of my scholarships hinged on it, I felt considerable solace upon being notified.”

Thriffiley placed in the top 20 percent in the Mississippi Math and Science Competition and placed first in Sports Management in the Future Business Leaders of America’s regional competition. The son of Lhay and Tate Thriffiley of Hattiesburg, he serves as reporter for Mu Alpha Theta and is a member of the student council and Beta Club.

He is a varsity football and powerlifing letterman for the school, and has worked as a volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood Association. He also interned at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Psychology Department Zebrafish Neurology Lab.

Thriffiley, who named Richard Muli and Monica Sala among his favorite teachers at Sacred Heart, plans to major in engineering at the University of Alabama, but said he isn’t quite sure what he’ll do after that.

“I know that I enjoy learning new things, and the (research and development) side of the STEM field seems appealing to me,” he said. “But as to possible employment opportunities or career paths, for now I’m just trying to keep my options open.”

Other Pine Belt finalists include Gracie Holman of Petal High School; Hannah Cantrell, Ryan Davis and Julianna Hampton, Oak Grove High School and John Perry of Purvis High School.