No Luck Needed: Meet National Merit Scholar Bronwen Davis

Bronwen Davis

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Millington Central High School senior Bronwen Davis is not too sure she wants to be a writer despite doing an internship at Cypress Magazine.
Although she’s a part of the thespian club, Davis is not seeking an acting career. With uncertainty about her professional future, the daughter of Scott Davis and Sheila Tagavilla said she wants to pursue nursing.
But the one certainty in the 17-year-old life of Bronwen is the good news delivered to her by Principal Mark Neal and Senior Counselor Ashleigh Currie last week. Davis received her official National Merit Scholarship letter.
“It’s surreal,” she said. “I just really didn’t see myself getting this because of how little amount of people who receive it. It’s very prestigious.”
Davis was shocked to earn the honor. The faculty and administration at MCHS are not surprised Davis is a National Merit Scholar with a 4.3 grade point average and top 5 ranking in the Class of 2021.
“All of the AP classes I can take besides Computer Science,” Davis noted. “Last year I took there and sophomore year I took one. This year right I am in three and next semester I’ll be in five. Any class I can’t take AP, I take honors.”
Davis said she knows her academics are solid, but she has tried to branch out in other ways like participating in Knowledge Bowl.
“I’m just more lucky,’ she proclaimed. “It’s not like I’m fully setting myself on acting. It’s what comes naturally. I’m not setting myself on writing. I’m not a genius writer or genius actor. I’m just lucky I’m not horrible at anything. Academically I’m fine — socially not as much.”
She acknowledged if she is to become a nurse, she has to become more of a people person. With the continuing support of her mother Sheila, Davis said she will reach her next set of goals.
“I’ve always been pushed,” she said. “My mom always wanted me to take honors and try my hardest. If I didn’t do what she knew was my best, she wouldn’t be the happiest. If I clearly didn’t understand something and didn’t get a great grade, she would be understanding. She knew I just wasn’t trying.”
Davis, who is taking advantage of the hybrid plan provided by Millington Municipal Schools, attends school on campus Mondays and Wednesdays.
The global pandemic has put things in prospective for the scholar and made her release what she needs for continued academic success.
“If I am not seeing a teacher, I’m not going to feel motivated to do the work,” she acknowledged. “It’s just an assignment I’ve been given — for who? I could do virtual but would I do my assignment? I’m not going to lie and say, ‘oh I wanted a challenge.’ I probably wouldn’t do my work if it was all online.”
Now Davis’ name is online as a National Merit Scholar. Her hard work and maybe a small measure of luck has helped her put the MCHS name on the national map.
“I didn’t even think about it,” she concluded. “I’m the only person in Millington right now who has gotten this. It’s wild. There is so many people around me who are smart. I mean genius-level smart. And they don’t have it. It’s just because I scored one or maybe two questions more them on the test. Just knowing that could either been luck or talent, it could have been my random guessing or the actual work I did.”
The principal, Mark Neal, of Millington Central High School announced today that Bronwen Davis has been named a Commended Student in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to this scholastically talented senior.
About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2021 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2021 competition by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
“Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”


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