Natchez Early College’s Comic Book Club president named Star Student

Published 11:27 am Thursday, May 12, 2022

NATCHEZ — Being the “best nerd” seems to be paying off for Natchez Early College senior Timothy Blalock, the son of Liz and Tim Blalock.

He has received the Mississippi Economic Council’s Star Student award.

The award goes to one student with the highest ACT score at each school participating in the MEC’s Star Student-Star Teacher program throughout the state. The ACT exam is used as the entrance exam by most colleges and universities in the country.

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The highest score possible is a 36. Blalock earned a 33 composite score on his last attempt and a 34 super score, which is calculated by taking the average of the highest scores he earned in each test subject area from multiple tests, he said.

It’s the Star Student’s responsibility to choose a Star Teacher who helped them be successful in school. Blalock said he named his favorite teacher, the late Peter Ensminger, who taught social studies at Natchez Early College just before he died in February. He taught in Natchez-Adams Schools, at Natchez High School and Natchez Early College, starting in 2014.

To his students, and to Blalock, Ensminger was affectionately known as “Mr. E.”

“He was always there when I needed him,” Blalock said.

Mr. E, who had a passion for superheroes, started a Comic Book Club in 2015. When he died, Blalock said he took over as the Comic Book Club’s president and hopes to keep it going for future students.

“I’ve been trying to keep everything going in his remembrance,” Blalock said. “I’m trying to organize it so that when I graduate, it won’t just die off.”

Blalock said he was a part of the Comic Book Club for four years. Their primary events are movie night fundraisers and a gaming tournament, “which I happened to have won,” he said. He said he can “speed run” the original Mario game in close to 6 minutes.

Blalock works at Natchez Market 1 and in his spare time enjoys reading, mostly fantasy novels.

He has a natural talent for solving math problems, he said.

“I used to be in the robotics club before COVID and was the technician,” Blalock said. “We’d go to competitions and I really enjoyed it. There are about 1,000 nerds in the same room and you’re pretty much fighting to see who is the best nerd, to put it simply.”

After graduation, Blalock said he plans to study mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University.