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2 • MAY 2021

4 • MAY 2021

Tahya Dobbs


Kevin Dobbs


Mary Ann Kirby


Brenda McCall


Caroline Hodges


Alisha Floyd


Daniel Thomas


Othel Anding


Jodi Jackson



Reader Spotlight 7

A Rare Jewel 8

Summer Activities 13

Hometown Family 16

Ties That Bind 24

The Yearbook 35

Burgers Blues Barbecue 60

The Medgar Project 64

Time Coin 82

www.facebook.com/hometownmadisonmagazine. For subscription information visit www.htmags.com or contact us at info@HTMags.com / 601.706.4059 / 26 Eastgate Drive, Suite F / Brandon, MS 39042

All rights reserved. No portion of Hometown Madison may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The management of Hometown Madison is not responsible for opinions expressed by its writers or editors.

Hometown Madison maintains the unrestricted right to edit or refuse all submitted material. All advertisements are subject to approval by the publisher. The production of Hometown Madison is funded by advertising.

Hometown MADISON • 5

6 • MAY 2021





Why did you decide to make Madison

your home?

After graduating from Mississippi State, I moved to

the metro area and began working at First Ridgeland

Baptist Church. I quickly discovered that Madison

was the place I wanted to start a family and raise

children, so we moved here soon after James and

I got married!

How long have you lived in Madison?

We have lived in Madison for three years now.

Tell us about your family.

My husband James and I have been married for

three years, but we have packed a lot of life into those

years! We have two beautiful babies: Clara is almost

two years old, and Fitz is six months old. Since we

were getting a little too much sleep, we just welcomed

Webster, a six-week old basset hound, into our family!

James and I met at First Ridgeland Baptist Church,

where I am the preschool minister. James is currently

finishing up his first year of law school at Mississippi

College while also working for WYAB, a local radio

station where he formerly hosted the James Tulp Show.

What is your favorite memory of living

in Madison?

We have so many great memories in Madison! We met

here, got engaged and then married here, and brought

our two babies home to Madison. But one of our

favorite memories was when our family came to town

Russ Daniels Photography

from all over the country. (I am originally from

Memphis, and James is from New Jersey.) We had so

much fun introducing everyone to Mississippi and

watching them fall under the charm of Madison

County. Years later, our family still talks about the

unmatched hospitality and unexpected beauty they

encountered while in Madison.

Where are your three favorite places

to eat in Madison?

We love to support local restaurants! Some of our

favorites are Strawberry Café, Colony Bistro, and

of course, Mama Hamil’s is our toddler’s top pick!

(She loves the ribs and corn!)

What are some fun things to do

in Madison on the weekends?

As a mom of two very young children, I am always

looking for fun weekend activities! And there is

always something to do in Madison, especially

around holidays and during the summer. On a

normal weekend, we enjoy having family picnics

at any of the nearby neighborhood lakes or taking

family walks along the Natchez Trace or at

Simmons Arboretum.

Share some things you enjoy doing in

your spare time.

I enjoy planning parties for friends and family, skiing,

teaching kids Spanish classes, traveling, honing my

photography skills, going on family day trips, and

uncovering hidden gems all around Mississippi.

What are three things on your bucket list?

At the very top of my bucket list is to have a cabin

in the mountains and spend a month each winter

skiing with my family. I can’t wait for my children to

experience the joy and thrill of skiing! Other things

on my bucket list are joining a tennis team and

starting my own business some day.

Who is someone you admire and why?

Our family wouldn’t be in Madison without the

warm, genuine welcome of our friend Mrs. Debbie

Upchurch. I have worked with Debbie for five years,

and my admiration and appreciation for her has

grown exponentially during that time. She is a friend

to everyone and a bright flash of hope and joy during

dark times. Debbie has inspired our family to love

where we live, to invite our neighbors along for life’s

journey, and to always give back to our community.

She has become our family here, and I can’t say

enough about the impact she has had on me and

countless others!

Where do you see yourself ten years

from now?

Ten years from now, I hope to have a home full of

laughter, love, sticky handprints, and endless memories!

I truly believe God created me to be a wife and mom,

and to experience the world through the wonder of

my children brings me so much joy. For that reason,

I can’t wait to see how ten years of loving and

learning will change, challenge, and grow me into

more of the person God designed me to be.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

All of my favorite childhood memories involve

adventures with my family. Specifically, I remember

the long car rides from Memphis to my family’s

lake house in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We would

spend all summer on the lake with our cousins and

grandparents. I’m so thankful my own children

will experience the same fun at the family lake

house for years to come!

If you could give us one encouraging

quote, what would it be?

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not

consumed, for his compassions never fail. They

are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

–Lamentations 3:22-23

Hometown MADISON • 7

8 • MAY 2021

A R are


Allison Hertel

I would give just about anything to swing by my grandmother’s

house for a visit and a glass of ice-cold sweet tea, which she

always had to offer. Maggie Jewel Tadlock Risher was born

and raised in Scott County, but most of these visits occurred here in Rankin

County, where she lived many of her later years. She was sister to ten siblings, mother

to three sons and a daughter, and Mawmaw to me and the rest of her grandchildren

and great grandchildren.

Hometown MADISON • 9

With life so fast-paced these days, I’ve always admired

the closeness and value of family I could see among

Mawmaw, her siblings, and the generations that followed.

We would gather once a year at Roosevelt State Park to

share a meal and celebrate the Christmas season. With

ten siblings, their children, grandchildren, and great

grandchildren, one can imagine this was quite the crowd

and quite the feast!

I will always remember her sisters and her gathered

around the piano singing hymns filled with beautiful


Mawmaw was every bit the southern lady–sassy and

sweet. She taught me to always send a thank-you note

and most importantly, always bring food for just about

any occasion, from celebrating a new life, to saying goodbye

to a loved one for the last time. When we lost Mawmaw,

we gathered around my table and shared a meal just like

she taught us, and we shared stories of her. Some of these

stories may have been about the many years she worked at

McRae’s, and later Belk, helping women find just the right

outfit for the occasion. I think she most enjoyed helping

the repeat senior customers every Tuesday morning.

Many knew her by name, as once someone met her, they

most likely did not forget her.

Then, of course, there were stories of her as a grandmother,

and how she took several of us in for a season,

myself included. She taught me much about cooking,

but not from a recipe, mostly just a pinch of this or a

pinch of that, but always with lots of love. She loved to

cook and would tell me stories of her own mother waking

before sunrise to cook breakfast over a wood-burning

stove each morning. Then, after meeting my grandfather,

she spent many hours in the kitchen learning from her

mother-in-law, who was also an excellent cook. I have so

many warm memories from my grandmother’s kitchen

and of gathering around the table full of wonderful food

prepared by her. It was her way of loving us.

10 • MAY 2021

Now, I take pride in continuing her legacy by preparing and

sharing her recipes with the people I love. One of my favorites is

her apple cake, which is my go-to treat to whip up for friends.

Family dinner sometimes seems like a lost art, but now, more

than ever, it is a treasure. Good things happen around the table.

My grandmother taught me that.

Jewel Risher’s

Apple Cake

• 3 cups chopped apples

(she recommended Red Delicious)

• 1½ cup oil

• 2 cups sugar

• 3 eggs

• 2½ cups flour

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. soda

• 2 tsp. baking powder

• 1 tsp. vanilla

• 1 cup chopped pecans

Combine oil, sugar, and eggs, beating well. Sift dry

ingredients and add gradually to creamed mixture.

Add vanilla. Fold in apples and pecans. Bake in greased

10-inch Bundt pan at 350 for one hour.


• 1½ cup powdered sugar

• 3 Tbsp. water

• 2 tsp. vanilla

Drizzle over cake.

Hometown MADISON • 11

Summer Camp!

Outdoor play inflatable water slide

arts & crafts

games petting zoo movies

and more!



Camps run Monday - Friday

from 8:00am to 3:00pm

June 7th-July 2nd and

July 12th-30th

For more information, or to register, visit us online at

hopehollowms.org or call 601-859-5290

$50 due upon registration

$250/week (includes registration fee)


Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @hopehollowlive

school of the arts

NOW accepting registration for



Mississippi’s Premiere Christian Ballet School

balletmagnificat.com (601) 977-1001

12 • MAY 2021


Central Mississippi

Regional Library System


Visit your CMRLS library in Rankin,

Scott, Simpson, or Smith Counties for

personal assistance, computer use, or

browse to find books, movies, audiobooks,

reference materials, magazines, and


Visit online for downloadable eBooks

and audiobooks, magazines, and music;

as well as World Book Online and the

Virtual Reference Library with databases

and handpicked websites for homework

research, foreign languages, and genealogy

databases, all available for you, 24-7-365.


Brandon Public Library - 601.825.2672

Florence Public Library - 601.845.6032

G. Chastaine Flynt Memorial Library

Flowood - 601.919.1911

Northwest Point Reservoir Library

Brandon - 601.992.2539

Pearl Public Library - 601.932.2562

Pelahatchie Public Library - 601.854.8764

Puckett Public Library - 601.824.2157

Richland Public Library - 601.932.1846

Sandhill Pisgah Library - 601.829.1653


100 Tamberline, Brandon, MS




Young Crusaders

Sports Camp

Park Place Christian Academy

201 Park Place Drive / Pearl, MS

May 24 - 27 / 8:00am – 11:00am

Incoming 1st -6th graders

$150 per person

(includes camp t-shirt and drinks)



Vacation Bible School


Flowood Baptist Church

1649 Old Fannin Road / Flowood, MS

May 30 - June 4 / 6:00pm-8:30pm

Ages 3-6th grade



Soccer Shots

Jackson Prep Camp

K3-K5 Students

June 7 - 10 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Open to the public

Register at jacksonprep.net/camps

Soccer Shots

Jackson Academy Camp

Entering K4 - 2nd Grade Students

June 14 - 17 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Open to the public

Register at jacksonacademy.org

Soccer Shots

St. Andrews Lower School


K4-2nd Grade Students

June 21 - 24 (tentative date)

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Open to the public

Register at gosaints.org

Vacation Bible School


Grace Church

2610 Napleon Avenue / Pearl, MS

June 21 - 25 / 6:00-9:00pm

(meal and snacks provided)

Ages 3-12




Soccer Shots Nature Camp

Lakeshore Park

July 6 - 7 / 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Open to the public

Register at jackson.soccershots.com

Twin Lakes Summer Camp

155 Milner Road / Florence, MS



For the past 50 years, Twin Lakes

Summer Camp has shown the love of

Christ to campers from a variety of

backgrounds in a safe and fun environment.

During their session, each camper participates

in each of our exciting activities –

horseback riding, nature, games, challenge

course, riflery/archery, rock climbing,

waterfront, crafts, and swimming pool.

The caring staff are carefully selected

and genuinely enjoy helping each child

make the most of his/her week.

Hometown MADISON • 13



JULY 7 • 12:05 PM













14 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 15

16 • MAY 2021

PHOTOS: Destiny Perkins Photography

The Albritton’s

Double the Blessings

Mistie Desper

“The Lord blessed me with lots of energy,” joked Shellie Albritton.

Shellie has served the Madison County area for over

12 years as a personal trainer and became the co-owner

of Burn Boot Camp in 2017. She said, “I started Burn

with my brother. We are a community offering amazing

support for each other.” The idea behind it, she explained,

was to give an outlet to women, especially moms, who

never take time for themselves when raising their families.

She added, “We want women to feel good about

themselves and we can give them that 45 minutes to

train, to sweat, to do something just for them.”

Admitting that she has always been “super active”

and just “likes to always be moving,” Shellie strives

to bring that motivation, enthusiasm, and support to

other women in the area. She stressed the importance

of women taking a break to recharge, and admitted,

“Doing this myself has made me a better mom.”

Hometown MADISON • 17

Shellie and her husband, Jeremy, are the proud

parents of a beautiful blended family that includes her

daughters, Jordan (22), Brooklin (19), and his children,

Dawson (20) and Crews (12). The Albritton’s were wed

on 8/18/18 and on Christmas Eve of that year, received

the news they were expecting. Her projected due date was

to be on their first wedding anniversary.

Shellie said, “I was shocked but even more shocked

when we found out we were having twins.” During her

pregnancy, the couple discovered that one of their

fraternal twin sons had Down Syndrome. Having

friends with children with the same condition, they

sought to learn all they could to prepare for their

blessings. She said, “There was a little of the unknown

so we wanted to prepare as much as we could.”

When Blake and Evan were born, their nurses were

so shocked to discover that the boys shared more than just

being twins. Shellie recalled, “The nurses said

they had never seen anything like this.” Having

fraternal twins both with Down Syndrome

is extremely rare. She added, “It is a 14 in

one million chance and there is only

one other set in the U.S.”

Beaming with pride and love,

Shellie said, “God makes no mistakes.

We are very fortunate and lucky.

Blake and Evan bring so much

joy to not only our lives,

but to the lives of everyone

who knows them. They are such a blessing.”

Shellie said it all came into perspective when

someone said to Jeremy and her, “God must really

love y’all and think you’re special to give you two.”

She said those words had such an impact on her and

showed her just how blessed her family really was.

Born at 2.9 and 3.4 lbs., they spent time in the NICU

at Batson Children’s Hospital. She praised the nursing

staff and everyone they met during their stay. She said,

“The coolest thing was how involved my oldest daughter

was during this time. She had always wanted to be a nurse

since she was a little girl around three years old and is now

a NICU nurse herself.”

18 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 19

20 • MAY 2021

Shellie stated that the Burn community

and their family have been their biggest

cheerleaders and support system and have

loved her family and the twins to the fullest.

The community of friends at her gym rallied

together to throw her a baby shower

and went above and beyond. Shellie fondly

recalled, “They have been so good to us. I

don’t think we had to buy much of anything

that first year.”

The boys, now 22-months old, have

been a fixture at the gym. They enjoy

hanging out during Shellie’s training

classes and entertaining the ladies with

their constant smiles.

Shellie gushed, “The boys have brought

our family so much closer together. The

kids love them so much and help us out

with them whenever they can.”

The Albritton family made Madison

their home eight years ago and love their

community and all the people in it. Shellie

feels fortunate to have the support and outpouring

of love from such a great town that

offers so much to families. Together they

enjoy spending as much time together as

possible. All of them are avid deer and duck

hunters and Shellie loves being able to work

out with the girls when they are in town.

They are also a travel baseball family

with their son. Blake and Evan spend loads

of time on the ball fields supporting their

older brother. Shellie said, “We load them

up to travel with us and its always so much

fun. The boys are always so happy. But as a

family, we always eat dinner together. That

special time is a big thing for us so we can

reconnect and have that time together.”

As the twins are growing and reaching

their developmental milestones, Shellie and

Jeremy are enjoying every moment with

their family. Shellie plans to keep growing

in fitness as well as the fourth Burn Boot

Camp location has opened with a partnership

with her brother and sister.

It is clear that family means everything

to Shellie. She concluded, “God has blessed

us so much with our family. I have such a

love for our close-knit community and the

people here–and hope to give back some of

what they have given me.”

Hometown MADISON • 21

22 • MAY 2021


with a bank that knows



Hometown MADISON • 23

24 • MAY 2021




Mothers & Daughters

Working Together

TempStaff ’s

Carolyn Boteler & Jamie Higdon

Dani Edmonsonsi

Making a difference can be a family affair.

Carolyn and Sidney Boteler, of Florence,

raised two daughters who chose careers that

involve helping others. Daughter Bethany

Sabins is a nurse practitioner in gynecologic

oncology at UMMC, while Jamie Higdon

co-owns and oversees the operation of

TempStaff along with her parents.

More than 40 years ago, Carolyn Boteler

ventured into a position with then-called

Norrell Staffing Company, now TempStaff.

After years of working her way up the ladder,

Carolyn, along with husband Sydney, bought

the company in 1991. It is here, as a child,

Jamie discovered her interest in office

management through tasks such as watering

plants, taking out the trash, and the now-extinct

art of filing paper.

Even while working on her undergraduate

courses, Jamie continued helping out at

TempStaff. “When I attended Mississippi

College, I became Carolyn’s college grunt for a

while, but then she kicked me out of the nest

and told me to find my own job,” Jamie

recalled. “I worked for a year at the Phi Theta

Kappa headquarters in Jackson,” at which

point an interesting opportunity presented

itself at TempStaff.

“A position came open in the accounting

department,” Jamie said. And since Carolyn

had always encouraged Jamie to focus on the

accounting aspect of her business major, the

decision to rejoin forces with her parents

seemed obvious. Twenty years later the familial

co-owners of TempStaff have found that the

secret to maintaining a working relationship

with anyone, especially a family member, is

simply trust.

“The previous owners trusted me completely,

which is something I’m very thankful

for,” Carolyn said. She learned this was one

important way to create an environment that

people wanted to work in. “The trust factor is

probably the most important thing. I don’t

ever have to be concerned that our company

will not be put first by every member of our

team. We both feel that way.” With their high

employee retention rate, it is clear staff

members believe they, too, will be put first by

Carolyn and Jamie.

Both women share a passion to help others,

and together they created a benevolence

mission that connects their workforce with the

community they love. Jamie explained that

over the years their staff has voluntarily

participated in an outreach program they call

The Sprout Initiative. “We wanted to ‘help

grow Mississippi through charitable giving’

with a focus on local non-profit organizations

and the name just made sense. We find local

nonprofit organizations that might be

struggling to meet their goals. Whatever our

staff chooses to donate toward this effort, we

match dollar-for-dollar,” she said. Over the

years, they estimate their collective efforts have

given out more than $40,000. “We feel the

need to give back because our community has

helped us to reach 40 years.”

Both women heap compliments onto the

other, but they admit making it work all these

years meant they had to “trust” their personal

and professional instincts regarding working

together. “When Jamie came into the business,

it was a big adjustment to both of us because

she sort of wanted to tell me how to do my

Hometown MADISON • 25

job,” Carolyn half-joked. “And, I told her in

the beginning that employees would see her as

my daughter, so she would have to earn their

respect.” She even introduced Jamie as “my

business partner Jamie Higdon” to help

establish neutrality. Necessary or not, it worked

because according to Carolyn, “She came in

and has done whatever it takes, earning

everyone’s respect.”

Jamie stated that working with her mom is

just plain fun. “Carolyn is much more the

people person,” she began. “I learned long ago

that she is constantly working, always recruiting,

even if it is to strike up a conversation with

a friendly checkout clerk about employment

opportunities.” And while she is the perfect

social engineer, they joke about her technical

shortcomings. “They know not to give me the

password to the accounting software,” Carolyn

admitted laughing.

Perhaps their most important strategy is

their firm belief that there is a time for work

and a time for family. “We don’t take our work

home,” Carolyn stated, “because it can totally

consume you.” Jamie admits this took practice.

“When we were at home or on vacation, I

wanted to talk about issues at the office.

However, at this point, Carolyn is able to walk

away when I stray into conversations about


The two women are clearly a balance of

forces: Jamie being the “back-office person”

and Carolyn the “front-office person” but they

have found a way to cultivate and embrace

their differences. They have even become

intentional neighbors. In fact, while most

children look forward to vacating the nest and

finding their own path in life, Jamie, along

with her husband Scott and two children, built

their permanent “nest” right next to her

parents. Scott recently joined the family affair

by taking the job of IT manager at TempStaff.

Bethany and her family also enjoy living very

close to both mom and big sister.

While Carolyn may be slowing down after

some 40 years in the staffing industry, she has

no intention of stopping. “Jamie thinks I am

going to retire one day…” Carolyn began. Jamie

interrupted lovingly by stating, “No, she may

never retire. We’ll simply put her ashes on the

shelf at the office and keep on going.”

26 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 27

28 • MAY 2021




Mothers & Daughters

Working Together

Apple Annie’s

Ann Fryant

& Emily Porter

Jessi George

When you step into Apple Annie’s Gift Shop,

you immediately step into an ambiance of vibrancy

and joy created by a mother-daughter team who

love what they do as much as they love working

alongside each other. Because of this unique family

dynamic, when you shop at Apple Annie’s you feel

as though you are shopping with friends even if you

arrived alone. Ann and Emily have a close and loving

relationship that pours out into their business and

all those who come in contact with them.

Ann Fryant of Jackson originally started attending

craft shows to sell her own paintings and art work

with no idea that her hobby would turn into a

successful family business that she would one day

operate with her daughter, Emily. In fact, Ann began

selling her artwork out of her own mother’s booth

at the Canton Flea Market, so the mother-daughter

work dynamic actually extends three generations.

Ann opened her own shop in Brandon in 2004,

and was later joined by Emily who was a teacher for

ten years before joining her mother full-time in the

family business. “I really love what we do here,”

describes Emily. “We work really well together

and there’s not a single day that I don’t want to

come to work.”

Emily and Ann collaborate on the beautiful

and intricate displays in the shop that look and

feel more like works of art than just tables filled

with products for sale. Emily says that even when

shopping for and decorating her own home she

has to have her mother’s opinion because she

loves what they design together at the store.

They complement each other well as each one

has different strengths they bring into the shop.

“She’s the night owl, and I’m the early bird,”

chuckles Emily. “She really gets into her creative

mode at night whereas I’m ready to go to bed.”

Hometown MADISON • 29

30 • MAY 2021

“Emily really likes shopping for all the clothes we

sell, and I enjoy shopping for pretty much everything

else,” says Ann. “She is also the one who handles our

technology and social media, which we leaned on

heavily during the last year.”

The close relationship that Ann and Emily have

has drawn many loyal customers to their shop—

many of whom come several times a week to visit

the mother-daughter team and see what is new and

exciting in the store. Although the pandemic last

year was difficult for Apple Annie’s, Ann and Emily

feel extremely blessed with the loyalty of their

customers who made sure to support them

throughout the two months of complete lockdown

where they were only able to do delivery or porch

pick-up. “During that time, we had to send all of

our staff home. We still paid them because we

couldn’t stand to see them go without,” says Ann,

“but it was just Emily, myself, and my husband here

to take and fill orders for both our Brandon and

Madison stores.” It was a lot of hard work for Ann

and Emily without the support of their staff, but

they leaned on each other to get through the

uncertain times and were thankful for their loyal

customers who supported them so faithfully.

The close bond that Ann and Emily share, and

the joy they have in working together creates a

positive working environment for their staff as well.

Their employees agree that it is a great environment

and a lovely place to get to come to work

everyday. Sue Eberett, who has been working at

Apple Annie’s since 2005, drives 45 minutes one

way just to come work for Ann and Emily. When

asked what she likes most about working there, Sue

simply said, “Everything.” She later elaborated,

“When you are working for good people, you enjoy


Julie Byrd, who is a full-time teacher, comes to

work at the shop in the afternoons after school. She

says, “Emily and Ann are the best, most generous

and loving people to work for. It is such a happy

place. It’s the place where I come to decompress

after a long day at school.”

When asked what makes them different from

other boutique shops in the area Ann said, “We

really try to find those new and unique pieces that

not everyone has. We want to listen to our customers

and make sure we have exactly what they are

looking for. We also want to always provide a

customer friendly, Christian atmosphere.”

It is evident to all who step inside Apple Annie’s

that what truly sets this place apart is this delightful

mother-daughter duo who exude warmth and joy.

Apple Annie’s has locations in both Brandon and Madison

and is open from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday through

Friday, and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday.

They are closed on Sundays.

Hometown MADISON • 31

Help us help


© Copyright 2019 BankPlus.

Member FDIC.

Friends of Children’s Hospital

supports Batson Children’s Hospital,

part of University of Mississippi

Health Care, Mississippi’s

ONLY hospital designed for the care

and treatment of sick or injured children.

*NOTE: All donations subject

to change on an annual basis.

Friends of Children’s

Hospital CheckCard

The Friends Card cost $12 per year, 100% of which is

donated to Friends

BankPlus makes a donation to Friends each

time the card is used

Available via instant issue

Since inception, the Friends CheckCard has raised

almost $2,000,000


32 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 33

34 • MAY 2021

CALL NOW: 601-401-3299

The Yearbook

Also known as an annual (because of the frequency in which it is published), the yearbook

has been as an important part of the school year as recess and sitting with your friends during lunch!

The yearbook reflects important school events and documents the lives of the people that participated.

It’s a memory book. A history book.

A record book, and a reference book.

As a celebration of the

impending graduations,

we decided to take a peek

into the yearbooks of our

Madison County seniors.

These pages were

designed by each

individual yearbook

staff and submitted

for inclusion in this

special issue.

Best wishes to all

the graduating high

school seniors–

the distinguished

Class of 2021.

Hometown MADISON • 35




Homecoming Court

Raising the new

State Flag

Homecoming Pep Rally

6A State Runners Up

36 • MAY 2021

Homecoming Pep Rally

Football Signing Day

class of

Hometown MADISON • 37

38 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 39

40 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 41

Bruin Bruin seniors seniors adjust adjust to the to Year the Year of COVID of COVID

St. Joe Sseniors t. Joehave seniors hadhavea memorable had a memorable year. year.

With COVID With COVID 19 still raging 19 still across ragingthe across nation thelast

nation last

fall, Bruin fall, seniors Bruininitially seniors initially were uncertain were uncertain what their what their

final year final of high yearschool of highwould schoolook would like. look like.

In the end, In the St. end, Joe was St. Joe openwas theopen entire the year entire -- holding year -- holding

classes inclasses personinrather personthan rather online. thanSome online. students Some students and and

teachers teachers quarantined quarantined because because of COVID of COVID 19, but they 19, but were they were

back on back campus on campus as soon as they soonwere as they healthy. were healthy.

Some events, Somelike events, Homecoming like Homecoming Dance and Dance Prom, andwere

Prom, were

canceled canceled because because of COVID. of COVID. Others, including Others, including sporting sporting

events like events football like football and basketball, and basketball, took place took as place planned as planned -- --

but withbut limited withattendance.

limited attendance.

0This year 0This hasyear beenhas good,1 beensenior good,1Trinity seniorJohnson Trinity Johnson said. said.

0It has been 0It hasa little beendifferent. a little different. But I2m But so happy I2m soSt. happy Joe St. Joe

decided decided to open in to August open inbecause August because you want you to spend want toyour

spend your

last yearlast of high yearschool of highwith school your with friends.1 your friends.1

As the Class As the of Class 2021 of prepares 2021 prepares to graduate to graduate and scatter and scatter

across the across country, the country, seniors will seniors cherish willthe cherish memories the memories they they

have created. have created. As they say, As they 0Once say, a 0Once Bruin, aalways Bruin, aalways Bruin.1a Bruin.1

-- Clay Blanchard, -- Clay Blanchard,

Class of Class 2021 of 2021

St. St. Joseph

Mr. Mr. and and Miss Miss St. St. Joe Joe 2021


"My senior "My year senior has year been has been

fun. From fun. the From classroom, the classroom,

to playing to playing basketball basketball and and

running running track." track."

- Caleb- Wilson Caleb Wilson

Classof2021 Classof2021

Right column, Right top: column, top:

Mary Hazel Mary Bellan Hazel works Bellan hard works in art hard class. in art class.

Right column, Right middle: column, Augusta middle: Hirn Augusta participates Hirn participates in in

Mass while Mass getting while her getting class ring her blessed. class ring blessed.

Right column, Right bottom: column, bottom:

Jack Clements Jack competes Clements competes with the swim with team. the swim team.

Top Left photo: Top Left Homecoming photo: Homecoming 2020 senior 2020 maids senior maids

Jessica Smith; Jessica Bianca Smith; McCarty, Bianca Homecoming McCarty, Homecoming Queen; Queen;

DeAsia Evans; DeAsia and Evans; Trinity and Johnson. Trinity Johnson.

Left photos: Left Katie photos: Corkern, Katie Miss Corkern, St. Joe Miss 2021, St. Joe 2021,

and Josh Briscoe, and Josh Mr. Briscoe, St. Joe. Mr. St. Joe.

42 • MAY 2021

Spirit Will Never Die!

What's your favoirte thing

you've done your senior year?

Performing at my

last pep rally with

the dance team on

our football field!

- Harper Evers

Winning BLITZ-16

player of the week and

signing with JSU for


- Kevin May

Main photo: Members of the

Class of 2021 claim the Senior

Deck with their new banner

on the first day of school in

August 2020. Immediate

right photo: Leah Clark, the

student body president and

co-editor of The Bear Facts

news website, reads at

weekly Mass.

Far right photo:

Harper Evers, left, Mina Leffler

and Katie Corkern.

Swimming at the state

meet and performing

in the spring musical

- Elizabeth


Hometown MADISON • 43

Madison Central High School

Class of 2021

Top left: Albert Xu

Top right: senior homecoming court members

Middle left: Haley Cote, Rhaly Milling, Jade Hayman, Lana Evans and

Jameshia Brown

Middle right: Most Beautiful Ellie Hetzel and Most Handsome

Chandler Welgos

Bottom left: Ashley Erickson and Mary Addison Gregory

Opposite page

Top left: Emily O’Reilly

Top middle: Will Scoggins

Top right: Duke Arnold and Anna Kay Bumgarner

Middle left: senior beauties and beaus

Middle right: David Ramsey

Bottom left: Connor Chisolm

Bottom right: Michael Green and Robert Tickner

44 • MAY 2021

The class of 2021 had quite a year of making the

best of situations. With mask mandates, social

distances and quarantines, these seniors showed

they can roll with the punches and thrive.

Homecoming was a week of dress up days, a virtual

pep rally and Friday night football. Newspapers

went online but finally distributed print copies

second semester. The boys soccer team went on to

win a state championship. Clubs had smaller canned

food drives and collected through the front office for

Operation Christmas Child. Students wore masks,

changed classes in smaller groups and adapted to

changes. Through it all, they continued to show

Jaguar spirit.

Hometown MADISON • 45

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School

Class of 2021

“This has not been an extraordinary year for the St.

Andrew’s senior class of 2021. Oh sure, there’s been a

pandemic and unprecedented times and lots of ‘hoping this

email finds you well,’ but to say this year was extraordinary

for this group of students is not the truth. You see, the

extraordinary for this graduating class is their normal.

They have been doing the extraordinary since they set foot

on this campus; their extraordinary is everyday ordinary

for them. And we aren’t just talking everyday ordinary

extraordinary in academic endeavors, especially for these

seniors who write, think, and analyze as well as they

breathe. I am also talking there-aren’t-hands- big-enoughto-hold-the-number-of-championship-rings-they’ve-won-ineverything

kind of extraordinary. To say this grade is a grade

of competitors is underselling their ferocity. They are fierce

beyond measure: on fields, at podiums, on stage, and in

labs. They sing like angels and swim like demons. They can

calculate the statistics of their free throws as well as they

can shoot them. So, the SA senior class of 2021 is, indeed,

extraordinary by any standards—just not their own.”

Writing Provided by Mrs. Marty Kelly











This senior class is filled with several

leaders. Student council president and

vice president are elected by the student

body for their innovative ideas. Mr. and

Miss St. Andrew’s exhibit leadership

and service to the community and

participation in activities. Homecoming

Queen and Snowcoming King are chosen

by their classmates for their personal

achievements. These leaders not only

display leadership, but also display

devotion to the St. Andrew’s.




STAR Athletes





46 • MAY 2021

The 2021 Seniors participated in many

fun activities throughout this school year.

Activities, such as Trunk or Treat, pep rallies,

voting, Service Learning Day, and decorating

their Senior parking spots, allowed the class

to have a memorable Senior year.


















“The beginning of Senior year was definitely my

favorite part. When Senior year started, it felt like

everyone was truly coming together and rejoining

the community in whatever way they could.”





STAR Students


ACT Average


Senior State


*August 2020-April 2021



Psychology Major

University of


Ashlynn Payne

Finance Major

University of

Southern Mississippi

Trey Hebert


Business Major

Elon University

Rece Raju

Designed by Betsy Burrow and Khushi Patel

Hometown MADISON • 47




Class of 2021!

We Love Our




48 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 49

50 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 51

Hometown MADISON • 53

54 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 55

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56 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 57

When Steven Sahler

decided to open a

restaurant, he went

to his father to see

if he would help


“I expected him to say no,

but instead he asked me

to tell him more about

what I had planned.”

Steven explained his

concept for a burger joint

that would appeal to all

ages. “I wanted it to be

a place where people

could go on dates, but

also a place where kids

would be welcomed.”

His dad liked the

idea and supported

Steven’s restaurant.

58 • MAY 2021

Susan Marquez

He named his place Burgers and Blues and opened the doors to the

public in April 2010 in Centre Park, off County Line Road in Ridgeland.

When thinking of a name for his new restaurant, Steven immediately

thought of the blues. “Mississippi is known for the blues, and I imagined

blues music playing in the restaurant. Besides, burgers and blues just

naturally go together.”

The business took off, and over time, it evolved, with menu items added,

as well as a patio addition. “The patio was so popular, we put a roof on it.

People really liked what we were doing.”

The original location recently closed about the time a new location,

Burgers Blues Barbecue, opened in Brandon. “I’m from Madison, but we played

football against Brandon, and I’ve always had a lot of friends in Brandon,”

Steven says. “Brandon has always struck me as a family-oriented, wholesome

town, and it’s a great place to put a restaurant.”

Hometown MADISON • 59

We get fresh

meat in three

times a week.

We also use

our own special

seasoning, and

we know how

to cook it to get

the most flavor. ”

60 • MAY 2021

In May Steven’s dream of opening a

restaurant in his own hometown will come

true. “We are excited to open Burgers Blues

Barbecue in Madison,” he says. The new

restaurant will be located in what was once

a dry-cleaning business, just west of the

railroad tracks on Main Street. “It’s a great

location for us,” he says.

The new restaurant will not have as big a

footprint as the original restaurant, but it will

offer both dine-in and take-out service, with

seating both inside and outdoors. The same

menu will be offered in the Madison location,

and the restaurant’s menu is extensive,

centered on fresh hand-formed burgers. “We

use all fresh ingredients, nothing is frozen,”

says Steven. “We get fresh meat in three times

a week. We also use our own special seasoning,

and we know how to cook them to get the most

flavor.” Customers can build their own burger

or choose from one of the many specialty

burgers on the menu. There are also daily

lunch blue plate specials. “If someone doesn’t

want a burger, there’s plenty more to choose

from on the menu,” says Steven. “From

chicken tenders to salads, we have a wide

variety of menu items from which to choose.”

Breakfast was added to the Brandon

location, and Steven says breakfast will also

be served in Madison. All the basic breakfast

items will be served, as well as a hash brown/

grits bowl, fried egg and brisket waffle, chicken

and waffle and French toast. “Of course, we’ll

serve great coffee and juices as well,” Steven


In addition to the restaurant, Burgers Blues

Barbecue has two food trucks, and they do a

lot of catering. “We take the food trucks out to

events. We can handle really big crowds, and

we do a good job of it.”

Steven and his wife, Abby, live in Madison,

along with their four children, Landon (19),

Lane (13), Presleigh (12) and MaryCline (8).

Landon helps his dad out at the restaurant,

and Abby is also very involved with the

restaurant as well. The Sahler family is fit

and healthy. “We are a CrossFit family,”

Steven says. “We all participate to stay healthy

and for the love of it. Everyone enjoys it.” The

children are also involved in various sports.

The family attends the Vertical Church in

Gluckstadt where they are all very involved.

“I’m also involved with a men’s movement

called The Hangar,” says Steven.

Steven says his priorities are faith first,

then family then his business. “I am richly

blessed and looking forward to great things

at our new location in Madison.” l

Hometown MADISON • 61

62 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 63


64 • MAY 2021


Shower Power Operations Manager

“Medgar? How long has it been

since you’ve had a proper place

of your own to call home?”

He furrows his eyebrows as he calculates.

“I don’t know. I guess eleven or twelve years....

maybe longer. Hmmmm, yeah–longer.”

We met Medgar back in December of

2019 while we were just getting our feet wet

(pardon the pun). We are Shower Power,

a ministry that provides showers for, and

serves, many members of downtown

Jackson’s homeless or marginally sheltered.

Medgar was one of our original adopters,

has come regularly ever since, and remains

one of our very favorite friends.

So during the course of one of our

conversations around mid-2020, and

months after we’d known him, Medgar

mentioned having a house. We knew him

to spend most of his time on a bench

around one of the downtown landmarks–

so this news of a house was very surprising.

He said, “Y’all wanna come see it?” And

that’s all it took.

We followed Medgar to a structure

that was completely dysfunctional and

dilapidated. It explains why the majority

of his time was spent on that bench. Both

his mother and brother had spent their

lives living in it prior to their deaths and

were unable to manage any type of upkeep.

And since their passing, it just continued

to deteriorate.

It had no power and no operable

plumbing. It had become a hoarding site

with rooms of rubble and remnants of

former lives piled from floor to ceiling–

the result of years-long neglect. We thought,

at the very least, we could help clean it out

so that on days when it rained–or in the

extreme cold–Medgar could have shelter

from the elements.

So on Labor Day weekend the Shower

Power team, along with additional recruited

friends and family members, descended

upon Medgar’s house with shovels and

gloves, buckets and respirator masks, and

a commercial-sized dumpster. We shoveled

our way in and created a path from room

to room.

It took days of nothing but clearing out

in order to get the house completely emptied.

Nothing was salvageable. And what we

were left with, structurally, was devastating.

There were broken floor joists and rotten

subflooring. At one point, what used to be

the kitchen was now only dirt below.

An entire exterior wall gave way, rotten

from the absence of any type of vapor barrier

and moisture from a roof that didn’t seem to

deflect a single drop of water. In all honesty,

any reasonable human being would have

simply written the house off and slated it

for a complete tear-down.

We started a social media campaign

including a GoFundMe to raise money to

Hometown MADISON • 65

at least stabilize the house enough to use as a reasonably fortified

shelter. And that’s when the miracles started happening.

By that very evening, through the power of Facebook, we had

secured a new roof–that was being donated! And everything from

there fell into place in a way that we could have never imagined.

Some longtime supporter friends of Shower Power called and

offered to provide us with the support of a general contractor to help

get us started. Sheetrock and all the supplies needed to hang it was

donated. A 2.5 ton HVAC and the installation of it was donated.

The calls kept coming–and so did the cash.

We started referring to our supporters as our “Village” and we

updated everyone routinely through Facebook. Plumbing fixtures

were donated along with windows and doors. An electrical company

agreed to donate all of the wiring and its installation–and the

owner of that company acted as a general contractor that got us

across the finish line.

Drywall installation was donated. Custom cabinets were built,

donated, and installed. A college group came and painted the entire

interior. A local business owner purchased flooring for us and the

company she purchased it from donated the installation! It was

amazing—and it had God’s fingerprints all over it.

66 • MAY 2021

Hometown MADISON • 67

Despite the total destruction that we’d left Medgar with, he

never once became discouraged or lost hope. He said, repeatedly,

that anything was better than what he had. And he was right—

despite my own occasional doubts.

Framing was repaired or replaced. New plumbing and wiring

went in. New subflooring went down. Insulation was put in.

Ductwork was installed. Windows were replaced.

If nothing else happened—this was ten thousand times better

than what we started with. It was an empty shell with a rock-solid

roof overhead. We had a tree removed that was looming above

threatening the entire structure—the removal of which was donated.

Sheetrock went up. Doors were hung. Trim work began. Plumbing

fixtures, cabinets, lighting, new flooring and moldings, appliances

and granite countertops were all donated and installed. An alarm

system was installed and insurance was purchased. New mattresses

were donated—and for the first time in a very long time, Medgar

had a bed.

As of this writing, we’re actually still putting the finishing touches

on his home. The pandemic created some supply-side and staffing

availability challenges. But it’s been such a labor of love for all of us,

and it’s fun to still be tinkering with it. It keeps us connected to our

friend in a super meaningful way.

68 • MAY 2021

Medgar worked harder than anyone there. He never left the job

site and has an appreciation for his new home that few can fathom.

We built a home he loves so that he can build a life he loves–and

we’ve been immeasurably blessed in doing so. All in all, the house

that should have been torn to the ground was rebuilt with the love

and generosity of complete strangers–and about $15,000 cash, all

donated. And since then, the folks at Shower Power have embarked

on several new projects—all with the purpose of restoring dignity

and providing opportunity to people that may just need a little help.

Thank you to the following friends and

businesses that donated products, services,

and labor. These are local businesses that

we can all support in a mighty way:

Strength Roofing & Siding - Brooks Strength

LiveWire Electrical Services - Marcus Buffington

Godfrey-McHann Realty - Brittany and Brad McHann

Adam Wilson Home Improvement - Adam Wilson

L&W Supply - Chris White

Pure Air Consultants - Tony Groover

Gotta Go - Lauren McGraw

Terry Murray Carpentry - Terry Murray

MidSouth Crawl Space - Josh Quick

The Stone Source - Troy Burnette and Bob Foreman

Treehouse Boutique - Jude Muse

Renfrow Decorative Center - Ross Renfrow

Mattress Firm of Jackson/D. Noblin Furniture

- Danny, Grant and Mason Gray

Ferguson Enterprises - Dallas Spence and Alice Querin

Energy Insulation Services - Wes Teten

Will Norris Drywall Services

Deviney Construction - Jason Cochran

Pennington & Trim - Ed Trim

Sunbelt Lighting

MGC Landscapes - Trey Deloach

Paint Plus Construction - Rob Deloach

Hopper Properties - Casey Bridges

Hopper Properties - Shane Saxton

Buffalo Peak Outfitters - Bob McCain

Hinds Community College Phi Theta Kappa

- Jane Foreman

Home Depot - Jodi Youngblood

Sherwin Williams Fondren - Andrew Lee

Cypress Depot

RiverBend Tires - Don Duncan

Tahya and Kevin Dobbs

Camille Richards

Tony Huffman

For more information about Shower Power visit


Hometown MADISON • 69

70 • MAY 2021


110 Kimball Drive • Madison, MS 39110 • 601.373.8408

Hometown MADISON • 71



Mistie Desper

What started as a couple of “good ole

boys” having fun catching snakes has

turned into an annual event that draws

a huge crowd, celebrity guests, and raises

thousands of dollars for those in need.

Jimmy Nichols, Jr., field representative

and law enforcement coordinator for

District Attorney Michael Guest and part

of Grabuone Outfitters, started “snake

grabbin” as a prank on a fishing buddy

years ago.

Nichols recalls, “I really have always

had a fascination with snakes growing up.

We were fishing with a buddy of ours and I

noticed a water snake in a tree and decided

to prank him. I reached up and just grabbed

it and of course, it bit me. I pretended it was

a water moccasin and that I needed help

fast.” Nichols’ dramatic performance led his

friend to reach the pier in record time. They

couldn’t contain their laughter after giving

their friend quite a scare.

Pretty soon, he and his friends began

doing it for fun because they were “better

at it than catching fish” most days.

Word began to spread about these “wild

guys from Simpson County” and curiosity

led to them having a small following. Nichols

said, “We just started havingpeople show

up wherever we were.”

As their following grew, on a whim, they

decided to record their adventures and fund

their own DVD. Local stores allowed them

to place a few copies here and there. Nichols

said, “I thought the idea was crazy but then

they all sold. We ordered more and they

sold, too!”

Their following and fame began to

rapidly take off leading to radio interviews,

TV interviews, and a TV show after a

chance encounter with a production crew

from Canada that was filming in

Pelahatchie at the time.

It wasn’t until Nichols received a

touching phone call from a mom that the

idea of using their increasing popularity

and local celebrity status to benefit those

in need was planted.

The mother of a nine-year-old cancer

patient called him and asked if they could

visit her son in a local hospital. She explained

that he was a huge fan of the show and was

to undergo a major surgery the following

week, a surgery that may mean life or death

for this young boy. Nichols, becoming

72 • MAY 2021

emotional, explained that he couldn’t

imagine having a child go through something

like that and knew, no matter what,

he and the guys would be there. He said,

“I called everyone and said, no matter what

you are doing Sunday, after church we are

meeting at UMMC.”

Nichols explained that the idea of

blessing others was born that day.

A friend suggested the guys start a

rodeo–not your typical rodeo, but one

focused on what they love, snake grabbing.

In the rodeos, 6-8 teams compete against

each other to see who can wrangle the most

snakes. Each team has a guide to ensure the

safety of all participants. Nichols said, “In

all the years of doing this, we have never

had a mishap during the competition.”

At the end of the competition, each

team brings their catch to be counted in

front of an enthusiastic crowd. Winners

receive trophies, prizes, and the coveted

title of the best snake grabbing team.

Events are held at Lake Washington in the

heart of the Delta. Each year, crowds have

continued to grow. Fans come to watch

the excitement of this unconventional,

fascinating, (and somewhat scary) sport.

Along the way, the members of

Grabuone have made several friends in the

TV industry who have aided them in their

fundraising efforts. Celebrities from other

TV shows like Uncle Si (Duck Dynasty)

and Ashley Jones (Swamp People) have

volunteered their time to help raise money

for those in need. Si also donated merchandise

and copies of his book, personally

signed, to sell, with all proceeds from the

sales going to that year’s honoree.

As the rodeo has grown, the group has

been able to help many people in need such

as the young boy with cancer many years

ago to a wounded police officer last year.

This year’s rodeo will benefit former

Madison County School Resource Officer,

Corey Ray. Devastating health issues

landed Ray in ICU and nearly cost him

his life in 2020. His community of

co-workers, family, and friends he has

impacted, has shown an outpouring of

love and support for him during this time.

The students and staff at Madison Central

High School have honored his hard work

and dedication to MC. Ray’s impact is one

that is far-reaching and goes well beyond

simply protecting the school. He has left a

legacy that is seen throughout his community

as testimonies of his service, dedication,

and kindness have been repeated time and

time again.

Ray continues to undergo surgeries and

various procedures. All benefits from this

year’s snake rodeo will go to Ray and his

family to assist in his medical expenses.

You can learn more about Officer Ray and

follow his recovery on his Facebook page,

Pray for Corey Ray.

Nichols and the remaining active

members of Grabuone, Joey Rigby, Joey

Mayes, and Shane Gibson, have turned a

unique hobby of self-proclaimed “adrenaline

junkies” into an enterprise that is

blessing their community.

Nichols said, “We have been blessed

and it’s an honor to bless others. We are all

from a public service background and are

fortunate to be able to help.”

Grabuone Outfitters is pleased to

partner with several big names for this

year’s event to benefit Officer Ray on

June 5, 2021. This event includes a meet

and greet with TV celebrities such as

Si Robertson (Duck Dynasty), Ashley Jones

and Ronny Adams (Swamp People), Brad

Cooney (Paranormal Investigators), Brian

Easterling (Forged in Fire), and Mike and

Hillbilly Red (Moonshiners). Several local

businesses have also donated firearms for

the event’s fundraising efforts.

For tickets for this year’s event, email


To learn more about snake hunting, contact

Grabuone Outfitters at www.grabuone.com

or email grabuone@yahoo.com

Hometown MADISON • 73


to First Responders

Why did you decide to be a policeman?

Growing up, I felt as though I had a purpose in life to help people.

More specifically while working a part-time job in college as a

security officer, I helped the local police find a person that had

been using stolen credit cards in an establishment where I worked.

From that encounter, I knew I wanted to learn more about the

career and see how I really could help people on a bigger scale.

How long have you been with the Madison

Police Department?

Seven years.

Tell us about your family.

I come from a family of four. My father is Jessie Chambers Sr, my

mother is Sammie Chambers, and my sister is Madison Chambers.

My mother works at the Levi plant located in Gluckstadt and has

been there for 35 years. My father is a carpenter and has been

building houses for 40-plus years. My sister recently graduated

college and is a teacher’s assistant.

What is the toughest thing you have experienced

in your job?

Not being able to satisfy everyone’s needs that I encounter. As

an officer, the public calls on us for help. And sometimes we can’t

provide the perfect outcome. However, with every encounter

I have with an individual, I make sure I’m kind, courteous, and

above all respectful. I’ll go above and beyond to help someone

in need to try to give them the peace that they need.





Share some things you enjoy doing

in your spare time.

In my spare time I like to read, being outdoors, and working out.

But I’d say, overall, spending time with my three-year-old son

Ethan Chambers is what I enjoy most.

What are three things on your bucket list?

The three things on my bucket list that I would like to achieve would

be to start a business, travel the world, and obtain a doctoral degree.

Who is someone you admire and why?

The person I admire most is my son. He was recently

diagnosed with autism. Each and every day is a challenge and

he continues to progress and get better. He is my motivation

and seeing him get better day by day is all the reason I need.

74 • MAY 2021

If you could give one piece of advice

to a young person, what would it be?

Never give up on what you believe in. With hard work,

dedication, and the right people around you, the possibilities

are limitless. I would also say don’t fall prey to peer pressure.

Just because you see someone do something doesn’t necessarily

mean you should. Especially if it’s something that could cause

harm. Have a level head and know when to walk away from

situations that won’t do you do any good.

What is your favorite thing about

the city of Madison?

My favorite thing about Madison would have to be the

community as a whole. The people of Madison stick together

and look out for one another.

Hometown MADISON • 75





Holmes Community College is offering five courses during

a Maymester Session on the Ridgeland Campus May 17-28.

Classes will meet Monday-Friday and final exams will be held

1-3 p.m. on May 28. Classes offered include: First Aid & CPR,

College Algebra, Trigonometry, American National

Government and Human Growth and Development.



Kristin Daniels


or (601) 605-3371

76 • MAY 2021








Collect six stamps from

participating attractions,

restaurants, and hotels

to redeem your prize.

For more information,

go to visitjackson.com/


Hometown MADISON • 77








(601) 398-0151 • theironhorsegrill.com

schedule appointment today


msagmuseum.org 601 432 4500

Summer Camps

Birthday Parties

Doc McStufns: The Exhibit

Check mschildrensmuseum.org our website for • our 601.981.5469 full event • Jackson, calendar! MS

mschildrensmuseum.org • 601.981.5469 • Jackson, MS

This project is partially funded through a grant by Visit Jackson.

78 • MAY 2021












Museum District Pass

25 %

off a normal

priced ticket



Family fun for all ages!

June 12th

10 am - 3 pm

Hometown MADISON • 79

The CHALKBOARD Madison Schools

Madison Central

STAR Students & Teachers

Back L-R: STAR Students Matthew Yin, Patricia Bethea, Albert Xu, Grant Darling,

Matthew Li, Arshbir Banipal, Rob Embry, Phillip Wright

Front L-R: STAR Teachers Kristin Cooley, Tam Yowell, Susan Shivers, Amy Bennett,

not pictured Rebecca Temple

Most Beautiful & Most Handsome

Ellie Hetzel and Chandler Welgos

Senior Beaus

L-R: Walker Rogillio, Christian Contreras, Joe Gallaspy, Rob Embry,

Carl White, most handsome Chandler Welgos, Harrison Bruce,

John Henson, Robert Tickner, Cameron Duncan

Senior Beauties

L-R: Grace McQuirter, Rossy Edmonson, Anna Kay Bumgarner,

Ashley Erickson, Mary Boyd Parker, most beautiful Ellie Hetzel, Taylor Boyt,

Lana Evans, Ann Cabot Stockett, Avery Milligan, Adeline Walters


L-R: Simon Tipton, Nora Beth Thomas, Ann Travis Hutchinson,

Sarah Kate Killens, Annalise Ferrell, Kendall Starkey, Leighton Barrett,

Abby Gables, Maddie Rives, Youssef Tuwahni, Mack Gorton


L-R: Kamden Boyd, Mary Scott Garrard, Avery Brady,

Mary Kate Sandifer, Olivia Davidson, Megan Stokes, Davan Zenor,

Bergen Bianchi, Casey Pierce, Aiden Allen

80 • MAY 2021

Shirley D. Simmons

Congratulations to Ahmirica J.

for earning first place in the annual

Madison County Soil & Water poster

contest. The theme for this year’s

contest was “Healthy Forests Healthy

Communities.” Ahmirica won first place

in the 7th-9th grade category.


Shirley D. Simmons Middle Beta Club members hosted

a week of service that included teacher care packages, a small

group guest speaker and a schoolwide food drive. During their

week of service Beta Club collected over 500 cans of food

which were distributed to two local food banks.

L-R: Jordyn S. ; London L. ; Samecia B. ; Jala G. ; Mauntrel T

Congratulations to SSMS 7th graders Taylor Jones

and K’Lei Luckett for earning “Superior” ratings in this

year’s statewide Virtual Junior High School Vocal Solo

and Ensemble Festival sponsored by the Mississippi Music

Educators Association. Taylor and K’Lei both sang in

two categories–the “Art Songs” category, and also the

“Contemporary & Popular Music Category.” Both young

ladies earned “Superior” ratings in both categories and

received very high marks for their performances. They each

received 2 medals for their hard work. Taylor and K’Lei are

students of Mr. Joel Hill, Director of Choirs at Shirley D.

Simmons Middle School and Velma Jackson High School.

“S” is for Snow

Madison-Ridgeland Academy’s

kindergarten used trays full of artificial

snow to practice drawing letters with a

festive twist. In Mrs. Gordon’s K4 class,

themed Snow Much Fun, students

reviewed letters they have learned by

tracing it in their snow trays or finding

them in a snow pile and then working

to write the same letter with a pencil

and paper.

L-R: Claire Hawkins, Layne Haney

Hometown MADISON • 81

TheTime COIN

Camille Anding

How did time manage to carry life

through such fleeting days and years?

It seems much too quick to see the end of life on this

earth and be left holding only memories and a few tokens

of our loved ones lives. Yet our God has a miraculous way

of bonding wonderful memories in our minds that are

associated with our parents, but in such a way that we

don’t live in the past or remain paralyzed in grief.

However, it is ironic that there are still moments when

I feel like a wide-mouth Lucy from Charlie Brown shouting,

“I MISS MY MAMA!” And even though I realize my memory

is losing some of its needed cells, I rejoice that there are

moments and images in my mind that time hasn’t erased.

I remember Mother converting the dining room into

her sewing room where she would cut out a new fall

dress on that mahogany surface and make her Singer

machine sing. Ther’s one specific two-piece ensemble I still

recall–a blue-green plaid with a gazillion pleats in the skirt.

It required way more time than I required for my taste, but

it was the latest style, so Mother kept making pleats.

It never dawned on me as a child that

Mother’s closet had a lot

more space than my sister’s

and mine. In years to come

I would realize more of her

sacrifices for her four children.

When I hear about plans for

VBS, I think of Mother. It was so

special to me that she was the

principal, the main person to

organize and make it work.

I thought she was an outstanding storyteller. Her

missionary stories came alive as we cleared jungle paths

to remote villages and glided down the Amazon in a

canoe to join the missionaries sharing the Gospel.

I sang the Psalms to present day tunes and learned

pledges to the Christian flag and Bible—all under

the tutelage of my mother.

I loved the way Mother loved my daddy, how she

trained us to appreciate and look for dessert after every

lunch and dinner, how she hung a line of clothes like the

military might have ordered, how she let us have a real

but small fire to cook our mud pies, how she saved all

her empty spice tins and oatmeal containers for our

playhouse, how she made our being sick almost better

than being well, due to her constant attention and

special treats, how she loved musical performances by her

offspring and how we knew she loved us unconditionally.

Life lessons, intentional and unintentional, were forged

into my years by my mother and

daddy. I know they weren’t perfect,

but time has a way of dissolving

the flaws and polishing the jewels.

I’m grateful that memories like

mine allow me to celebrate

Mother›s Day on a daily basis

because my mother’s influence

is branded in my heart and

mind. And I count that as

a really good thing!

82 • MAY 2021

You can postpone

the vacation.

You can postpone

the vacation.

But don’t put of f your

But don’t put of f your

health care.

Many things have been postponed because of the pandemic,

Many things have been postponed because of the pandemic,

but your health care shouldn’t be delayed. Routine screenings

but and annual your health wellness care exams shouldn’t can help identify be delayed. health issues Routine in the screenings

and earliest annual stages, wellness when they exams are most can treatable. help identify health issues in the

earliest stages, when they are most treatable.

Our providers are committed to helping you stay well. We are

Our taking providers extra precautions are committed to provide to a safe helping and clean you stay environment well. We are

and offer both in-person and telehealth appointments.

taking extra precautions to provide a safe and clean environment

and Make offer your both health in-person a priority and and schedule telehealth an appointments. today.


Make your health a priority and schedule an appointment today.




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