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After the princesses and superheroes have put away their costumes,<br />

and Christmas lights begin packing the retail shelves, the “merriment”<br />

seasons are officially underway.<br />

For young families, most months have more than their share<br />

of activities and demanding schedules—but November and<br />

December carry the greatest weight for pausing.<br />

Even with schedules that scream for attention, the majority<br />

in our hometowns take time to express thanksgiving for their<br />

multitude of blessings and to celebrate the greatest of all blessings<br />

– the birth of our only Savior.<br />

Our staff hopes this issue is a reminder of your blessings and<br />

gives you warm thoughts as you pause to reflect on your own<br />

countless blessings. From my office door I catch glimpses of staff<br />

members who are dedicated to completing their assignments<br />

and who continue to help meet those never-ending deadlines.<br />

Their names are listed on the editorial page of each of our<br />

publications. I’m immensely grateful for their talents, attitudes,<br />

and willingness to work as a team.<br />

There are times that are stressful, and all will probably admit,<br />

there’s never a lot of downtime to small talk around the coffee pot.<br />

As we grow, and praise God that’s happening, additional jobs<br />

keep popping up which demand more work on everyone’s part.<br />

I’m blessed and grateful with a team like Hometown’s!<br />

As we set aside time in the next two months to share with<br />

our families and friends, let thanksgiving be at the top of each<br />

menu and gathering. We at Hometown Magazines consider<br />

our advertisers and readers high on OUR thanksgiving list and...<br />

if you are reading this, know that one more deadline was met!<br />

Let the merriment begin!<br />

COVER ART: Chloe McHann, Clinton High Senior<br />


...see you around town.<br />

The Way We Were 6<br />

Reader Spotlight 9<br />

Historic Homes in Olde Towne 11<br />

Before & After 14<br />

Kids Who Care 18<br />

Holiday Gift Guide 21<br />

Hometown Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26<br />

Meet Eden Followell 32<br />

A Place Called Raymond 42<br />

Salute to First Responders 52<br />

The Time Coin 58<br />

www.facebook.com/hometownclintonmagazine. For subscription information visit www.htmags.com or contact us at info@HTMags.com / 601.706.4059 / 200 Felicity Street / Brandon, MS 39042<br />

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

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

Hometown CLINTON • 3

4 • NOVEMBER 2023

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Hometown CLINTON • 5

Rowland & Lloyd Roberts<br />

Camille Anding<br />

“I needed to be married and<br />

married to her!” were the thoughts<br />

going through Lloyd Roberts’ mind<br />

after his first date with his future wife,<br />

Rowland Jones. Their paths had crossed<br />

briefly in Clinton, but friends of Lloyd’s<br />

had arranged a blind date for the two<br />

on New Year’s Eve of 1986 in Raymond.<br />

The still young-at-heart, seventynine<br />

year-old Dr. Roberts delivered a<br />

hearty laugh when he recalled that first<br />

date. “We didn’t have but one date!” he<br />

said with a twinkle in his eye. From that<br />

first evening the two kept a standing<br />

date whenever their schedules allowed<br />

their being together.<br />

Rowland remembers that she didn’t<br />

hear from him for several days after<br />

their first date. After such a fun New<br />

Year’s evening, she couldn’t understand<br />

his not calling or connecting with her.<br />

By the end of the week, he called,<br />

sharing that he had woken on the first<br />

day of January with the flu. With his<br />

first back-to-life strength, he called and<br />

asked, “Are you sick?” She wasn’t, and<br />

Lloyd arranged for the date that was to<br />

be continued.<br />

The time was right for new<br />

beginnings for Rowland and Lloyd.<br />

Divorces had left each of them with a<br />

lot of challenging years and two children<br />

to raise - Rowland with a son, Charles;<br />

Lloyd with a daughter, Angie.<br />

On November 20, 1987, the<br />

professor and Rowland were wed in<br />

Rowland’s parents’ home in Clinton.<br />

They honeymooned in New Orleans<br />

and returned to a “forever after” joy to<br />

plant their roots together in Clinton.<br />

Lloyd brags on Rowland’s expertise<br />

in decorating their lovely home with its<br />

tasteful interior. Several of Dr. Roberts’<br />

paintings hang on the walls, another<br />

aspect of his gifts. A focal print by<br />

Kenneth Quinn hangs over their<br />

fireplace – a lighthouse scene picturing<br />

Round Island off the coast of Pascagoula.<br />

“There’s a story behind that painting,”<br />

the professor began sharing. That area<br />

was home to his great grandmother<br />

who gave birth to eight children. The<br />

amazing part of that story was her<br />

delivering all eight of them herself and by<br />

herself! Lloyd’s grandparents operated<br />

a lighthouse that represented a<br />

pioneering heritage.<br />

During the absorbing interview, the<br />

professor recalled people, times, and<br />

experiences that were still retrievable<br />

from his notable brain. Rowland<br />

listened attentively, fully aware of her<br />

husband’s outgoing personality but when<br />

asked, had stories and experiences of<br />

her own.<br />

The nearest description of the time<br />

with the Roberts would be closest akin<br />

to brainpower. Education, wit, joy,<br />

experience, discipline, determination<br />

and excellence were just a few of the<br />

obvious attributes making up these two<br />

personalities.<br />

Rowland earned her degree from<br />

Louisiana State University and two<br />

graduate degrees from Mississippi<br />

College. She taught high school math<br />

at Jackson Preparatory for five years<br />

where she was named Star Teacher. An<br />

opening at Clinton High School math<br />

department allowed her to be closer to<br />

home and teach an additional five years<br />

before retiring.<br />

Dr. Roberts, a graduate of Ole Miss,<br />

earned his Ph.D. at the young age of<br />

twenty-five. He took a position in a<br />

management company in Little Rock,<br />

Arkansas, and also taught at Arkansas<br />

State. In 1991, he was passing through<br />

Jackson on business and ran into a<br />

friend who was in administration at<br />

Mississippi College. The friend told<br />

Dr. Roberts about an opening in the<br />

business department and encouraged<br />

him to come for an interview. Roberts<br />

took his friend’s advice.<br />

As a result, in December of 1981,<br />

Roberts and his daughter moved to<br />

Clinton where he would begin his new<br />

job as professor in the business<br />

department. Next, he served as chair<br />

6 • NOVEMBER 2023

“ Never leave<br />

anything unsaid<br />

– talk about it.”<br />

of the department of business and<br />

economics. From 2001 to 2002 he<br />

served as interim president of the<br />

college. His expertise in business was<br />

key to his being named chief financial<br />

officer until 2006. From that year to<br />

2016, he returned to the college<br />

classroom as a professor, doing what<br />

he loved best.<br />

The experience and talents in<br />

education are remarkable and multiplied<br />

with this Roberts team. Rowland spoke<br />

highly of her satisfaction in being a<br />

math teacher. Her solution to potential<br />

disruptions by unruly students was<br />

simple – keep them too busy to create<br />

problems. She named trigonometry<br />

and calculus as her favorite math<br />

courses. Dr. Roberts joined in, “I love<br />

Trig too – I signed up for a Trig course<br />

online about six years ago just because<br />

I enjoy it!”<br />

Dr. Roberts said that he had never<br />

given true/false or multiple choice<br />

questions on a test. “I didn’t want to<br />

know what they hadn’t learned. I wanted<br />

them to be able to make applications to<br />

what they had learned.” He gave them<br />

problems to solve. He added that he<br />

learned every student’s name on the<br />

first day of the class and called them by<br />

their names. He also made it a practice<br />

to grade all tests before their next class.<br />

If the professor saw a student failing<br />

to utilize their abilities to learn, he<br />

would call them in for a conference to<br />

reinforce them. “We must have<br />

expectations as teachers,” he said.<br />

The couple also had instructions<br />

about marriage. Rowland believes<br />

communication is key to a successful<br />

marriage. Lloyd added, “Never leave<br />

anything unsaid – talk about it.” As<br />

they pondered pointers on marriage,<br />

they confessed that they never argued.<br />

That fact spoke volumes about their<br />

compatibility. Lloyd nodded his head<br />

and said, “It’s worked well.”<br />

Four granddaughters along with<br />

their three great grandchildren are a<br />

big part of their lives now. Soccer and<br />

other team sports have the Roberts<br />

back in the spectator stands cheering<br />

for their little ones. Activity is important<br />

in their lifestyle. Roberts insists, “You<br />

gotta keep everything moving. I want<br />

to be able to mow my lawn when I’m<br />

ninety!”<br />

Even though there’s time for travel,<br />

the Roberts choose to stay close to home.<br />

Lloyd said, “If we choose to purchase<br />

an expensive item, we just justify it as<br />

our trip to Europe.” As for dining out,<br />

they seldom choose restaurants over<br />

Lloyd’s talent in the kitchen. He has a<br />

flair for Cajun cooking and learned<br />

how to make biscuits when he was just<br />

a boy. Rowland has several favorite<br />

cookie recipes that make sweet treats.<br />

She prepares their lunch; Lloyd<br />

volunteers for dinners.<br />

Another interesting print adorns<br />

their living room wall. It’s a night image<br />

of Nelson Hall, the administration<br />

building on the college campus. Dr.<br />

Roberts pointed out the one lit window<br />

on the corner office on the bottom<br />

floor. The print, by Allen Smathers,<br />

was presented to Dr. Roberts by his<br />

staff on his 60th birthday. Rowland<br />

spoke up, “He stayed late a lot of nights<br />

in that office.”<br />

Dr. Roberts continues to serve on<br />

various committees and boards for the<br />

college and has an office in Nelson<br />

Hall – “A small one,” he said.<br />

The interview began as an<br />

assignment but ended in sensing new<br />

friendships. Their hospitality was<br />

generous, and their joy with each other<br />

and their accomplishments filled the<br />

room. They walked us to the door<br />

as we expressed our enjoyment of<br />

meeting such a remarkable couple.<br />

Rowland leaned toward me and<br />

whispered, “I think he’s the best.”<br />

After being in their company, “best”<br />

was an excellent description of both<br />

their characters.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 7

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8 • NOVEMBER 2023

READER<br />


Kim<br />


_________________________<br />

Why did you decide to make Clinton<br />

your home?<br />

Clinton became our home after Andy and I graduated<br />

from Mississippi College. We had ties to Clinton<br />

with my husband’s grandmother living here and<br />

I also worked at The Cupboard in Clinton when<br />

we first moved here after getting married in 2000.<br />

I loved Clinton while I was at MC, and I made<br />

many friends here through school and work. We<br />

loved everything about the Clinton community<br />

and wanted to live here and raise our children here.<br />

How long have you lived in Clinton?<br />

I have lived in Clinton for 26 years including my<br />

time at Mississippi College.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

I’m married to Andy Chandler, and we have been<br />

married for 23 years. We have two children. Drew is a<br />

graduate of Clinton High and is now a sophomore at<br />

Mississippi College studying business administration.<br />

Meredith is a sophomore at Jackson Academy. We<br />

attend First Baptist Church. Andy works for Randy<br />

Watkins Golf Group. I am a dyslexia therapist at<br />

Mississippi College.<br />

What is your favorite memory of living<br />

in Clinton?<br />

As a college student working at The Cupboard, we<br />

always enjoyed the Christmas parade. It was a fun<br />

day to work each year. We would close the store<br />

during the parade, and all go out and enjoy it together.<br />

I had never experienced the Christmas parade until<br />

I began working at The Cupboard. After having<br />

children, we always had breakfast with Santa and<br />

attended the parade as a family. It’s a sweet memory.<br />

Where are your three favorite places<br />

to eat in Clinton?<br />

Froghead Grill, The Bank by Pizza Shack, and<br />

Roma Italian Restaurant.<br />

What are some fun things to do<br />

in Clinton on the weekends?<br />

Main Street Clinton hosts markets on Saturday<br />

mornings and those are always fun, especially around<br />

the holidays. Gamedays at Mississippi College are<br />

also a fun Saturday. The Quad is full of students and<br />

others tailgating and just enjoying the beautiful<br />

campus of MC before a game. Olde Towne Clinton<br />

is a great place on the weekends, too. There are cute<br />

boutiques, restaurants, and coffee shops along the<br />

brick streets of Clinton just off the campus of MC.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing<br />

in your spare time.<br />

I enjoy spending time with my family at Lake Bruin.<br />

We enjoy boating, swimming, cooking, and relaxing<br />

together at the lake. I also enjoy eating out, shopping,<br />

and reading in my spare time. In the fall, I love to<br />

watch college football!<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

My parents are the people I admire most. They have<br />

always been great role models in the way they love<br />

each another and the way they love God. My mom<br />

was a stay-at-home mom when I was growing up and<br />

she was always there for me and willing to help me in<br />

any way possible. She has continued to be that constant<br />

source of encouragement and love throughout my<br />

life. She is my best friend. My dad is a business owner<br />

and has worked very hard my entire life, but always<br />

has time for his family. He has shown me through<br />

owning his own business what it means to have<br />

Christ at the forefront of your business as well as<br />

your life. He has been very successful, and he gives<br />

all the glory to God. My parents are wonderful<br />

people, and I am so blessed that God chose them<br />

to be my parents. I admire them most because they<br />

are both very strong Christians and show it in their<br />

everyday lives.<br />

Where do you see yourself in ten years?<br />

I see myself retired and enjoying life with Andy and<br />

my adult children. I hope to get to travel more and<br />

see other parts of the world.<br />

What is your favorite childhood memory?<br />

My favorite childhood memory is traveling with my<br />

family on various vacations over the years. We took<br />

many trips, and I have fond memories of traveling<br />

as a family. One trip that sticks out in my mind is a<br />

trip we took to California one summer. We drove<br />

and we were able to see many things along the way.<br />

Seeing the Grand Canyon on that trip was very<br />

memorable for me. We rode mules down into the<br />

canyon and it was a great experience, frightening<br />

at first, but really great.<br />

If you could give us one encouraging<br />

quote, what would it be?<br />

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not<br />

lean on your own understanding. In all your ways<br />

acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your<br />

paths. Proverbs 3:5-6<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

Hometown Magazines?<br />

My favorite thing about Hometown Magazines is<br />

reading about all the people and places in our town.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 9



Walk-Ins Welcome | No Referral Needed<br />

10 • NOVEMBER 2023

City of Clinton<br />

Historic<br />

Homes<br />


in Olde<br />

Towne<br />

For any resident of Clinton, the brick<br />

streets in downtown carry a sense of<br />

nostalgia, familiarity, and welcome.<br />

The area, known as Olde Towne, is<br />

home to numerous businesses,<br />

shops, and annual events<br />

that mark the traditional spirit<br />

of Clinton. Along with these<br />

attributes, the zone is laden with<br />

historic homes along fence-lined streets.<br />

These residences, ranging in age from<br />

the early-mid 1800s to the 1920s and<br />

beyond, are an ode to a different time.<br />

Many of the homes are still maintained<br />

by family members of the<br />

original owners.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 11

One such residence is the Landrum House, located on Main Street, just<br />

beyond the Jefferson Street intersection. Established in 1863, the Landrum<br />

House is currently home to Sherry Landrum and Gerald Kerner. Sherry, who<br />

married her first husband David Landrum in 1975, moved into the home in<br />

1990. Eight years later after moving in, David was diagnosed with cancer and<br />

subsequently passed away in 2001. Contemplating the significance and history<br />

of the home, Sherry says, “my late husband’s grandmother loved this house, and<br />

when it came up for sale in 1924, Ms. Nelle Landrum went to the Clinton<br />

Depot and offered the owners money to purchase it and they agreed.” Since<br />

1924, the home has been in the Landrum family. “The Landrum’s are an integral<br />

part of Clinton,” says Sherry. “My late husband was the Clinton fire chief for<br />

twenty plus years. His dad, Cliff Landrum, was the Clinton Public Works<br />

director for many years, and his uncle, Dewitt Landrum, was the city building<br />

inspector for several years.” The Landrum’s were also in the construction<br />

business and owned Landrum Building Supply, which was housed in what is<br />

now Wyatt Waters Gallery. In addition, the Landrum’s built many churches<br />

and homes in the Clinton area.<br />

Years following David’s passing, Sherry met Gerald, and the two have<br />

worked consistently to keep the spirit of the home intact. “My favorite thing<br />

about our home is the history and the stories I have heard and learned over the<br />

years,” notes Sherry. Architectural details, such as the high ceilings, lend a<br />

particular charm and character that she and Gerald cherish. “I love the Civil<br />

War architecture and the classic, smaller Southern plantation style,” says Gerald.<br />

As Sherry and Gerald have studied the home’s history, they have discovered<br />

numerous aspects regarding its construction and subsequent renovations.<br />

“There is a picture of this house from 1863,” says Gerald. “We are guessing the<br />

picture was to document completing the house. I believe this house had two<br />

major additions; one to add the middle bedroom, master bath, electricity and<br />

central hall, and another to add the kitchen, dining room, and a bathroom.”<br />

Preservation of the home has not been without its challenges. In June of 2023,<br />

a massive tree fell on the house. The damage was extensive, leading to a full gut<br />

and much-needed renovation of the kitchen, sunroom, and outside deck.<br />

Following the damage, “We learned to appreciate this house even more,” says<br />

Sherry. “During the rebuilding process, we have discovered even more history<br />

and the pride that was taken attempting to keep the history intact.”<br />

Reflecting on how the history of the home is personal to her, Sherry says,<br />

“Although I have many wonderful memories in this house over the years with<br />

my family, my most precious memory is being able to bring Jeff home to live out<br />

his remaining days in the care and comfort of our home surrounded by his family<br />

and friends.”<br />

12 • NOVEMBER 2023

While the Landrum house is the oldest in the Olde Towne area, it is one of several<br />

historic homes that add character to Clinton. Across from the Landrum House sits<br />

Tanglewood, which is the current residence of Clinton’s mayor and wife. Tanglewood,<br />

originally constructed on Norrell Road around 1845, was moved to its current location on<br />

Jefferson Street circa 1878. The home, designed as a Greek revival cottage, was renovated<br />

in 1926. Eighty-seven years later, in 2013, the home was listed on the National Register of<br />

Historic Places. Flanking the Landrum’s home on the other side is the McEarley-Allen<br />

House, established circa 1929. Numerous others dot the streets of Olde Towne, signifying<br />

their historic nature with recognizable yard signs that walkers and visitors can observe.<br />

Many of these homes, according to owners, have required ongoing and significant<br />

updates and renovations, as one would expect. However, these homes add a distinct<br />

richness to Clinton, one which Sherry, Gerald, and others, are passionate about preserving.<br />

“Older homes are worth preserving, protecting, and repairing when necessary,” says Gerald.<br />

Sherry agrees: “Olde Towne is a unique part of Clinton, and we are all doing our part to<br />

preserve Clinton’s history.”<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 13

14 • NOVEMBER 2023

Before & After<br />

Brandye Boyd’s Story<br />

Sarah Rein<br />

You know those moments in life when<br />

all seems to be going well? There are<br />

no major issues at work, the laundry is<br />

caught up, the children are getting good<br />

grades and staying out of trouble, and<br />

more meals were eaten at home than<br />

out that week. You have that brief,<br />

illusory moment in which you think...<br />

“I might actually have<br />

life under control.”<br />

In her previous life, Brandye Boyd would<br />

have treasured that feeling. A self-proclaimed<br />

busybody who thrived on having things<br />

together, she was the woman many of us<br />

aspire to be—an involved mom to three young<br />

kids, leader of her church’s ministry to young<br />

mothers, and an adjunct college professor<br />

with a master’s degree.<br />

The first part of Brandye’s story sounds<br />

like a life many of us would have been glad<br />

to have. She was fortunate to grow up in a<br />

happy home in Clinton - with a mother who<br />

put the needs of Brandye and her brother<br />

first, a stepfather who treated them as his<br />

own, involved grandparents, and a church<br />

family. As a regular churchgoer, she knew<br />

about Jesus from an early age and, though<br />

she considered herself a Christian, she isn’t<br />

sure she understood what it meant to<br />

relinquish control of her life to God.<br />

After receiving her degree in education<br />

from Mississippi College in 1996, Brandye<br />

began teaching school and coaching a<br />

cheerleading squad at Byram Middle School<br />

and moved into an apartment with her best<br />

friend from high school. Young and single,<br />

Brandye was enjoying her freedom. When<br />

she met her current husband, Joey, she did<br />

not relish the thought of settling down.<br />

The night they met, Brandye was at a<br />

Halloween costume party at her apartment<br />

complex. She had recently been in a car<br />

accident that left her with a broken femur<br />

and was on crutches. Not wanting to miss<br />

out on the fun, her roommate decided to<br />

make the most of Brandye’s misfortune by<br />

dressing them in coordinating patient and<br />

nurse costumes. After she’d changed out of<br />

her costume, Joey, who worked at the<br />

apartment complex, approached her to ask<br />

for a date and comment on her costume<br />

choice. Brandye, who was savoring her<br />

newfound adult life, was not eager to accept.<br />

“I thought he seemed like a cute, good guy,<br />

but I wasn’t ready for a relationship,” Brandye<br />

shared. Eventually, however, Joey’s persistence<br />

won her over, and they went out for lunch.<br />

Brandye’s intuition had been correct, and<br />

the two have been inseparable ever since.<br />

When they got married just a year later,<br />

both agreed they wanted to grow up and make<br />

some life changes. They moved to Rankin<br />

County because of the excellent school<br />

district, and Brandye decided to pursue a<br />

master’s degree in education. Joey began a<br />

new career with BellSouth. Their first order<br />

of business after moving was to choose a<br />

church to attend. These were the days before<br />

your first thought was to Google church<br />

options. “We opened The Clarion-Ledger to the<br />

Places to Worship section and saw that<br />

Pinelake was near our house,” she recalls<br />

laughing. And that church is where they<br />

found their community - the people they<br />

were going to do life with.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 15

As they joined small groups and mentoring<br />

programs, they didn’t realize how vital those<br />

connections were going to be. They began<br />

having children and raising them alongside<br />

the other couples from their young adult<br />

Sunday school class. Brandye shares that at<br />

one point there were thirteen women in<br />

their church group that were pregnant<br />

simultaneously. This was a pivotal time in<br />

Brandye’s life, and you can tell she’s unsure<br />

how to explain it. “This was when I truly<br />

came into relationship with God,” she<br />

remembers. “I don’t know if I’d say it was a<br />

rededication or what, but I know that’s<br />

when I really met the Lord.”<br />

Their careers were also off to a promising<br />

start. Brandye took a job at the Department<br />

of Education, and Joey had moved into<br />

management at BellSouth. But commuting<br />

to Clinton to drop off her oldest son, Blayze,<br />

with her mother before heading to work in<br />

Jackson was wearying. And when Brandye<br />

became pregnant with their second son,<br />

Bran, she and Joey agreed it was time for her<br />

to scale down to working part-time. She set<br />

her own schedule conducting teacher<br />

training for the Department of Education<br />

and became a representative for Cheer &<br />

Dance apparel. But when their third child<br />

and only daughter, Breyle, was born, they<br />

decided to make adjustments that would<br />

allow Brandye to be home full-time…<br />

something she’d been praying for for years.<br />

Brandye thrived in the business of that<br />

season of life. “I had everything color-coded<br />

for each kid and three-ring binders with lists<br />

and schedules,” she chuckles. “I was such a<br />

control freak, and I just couldn’t sit still.”<br />

Indeed, she filled up every spare minute<br />

volunteering at Pinelake and heading up<br />

various committees and programs at her<br />

children’s schools. She was the mom who<br />

kept her kitchen stocked with children’s<br />

snacks so the neighborhood children would<br />

gravitate to their house to play.<br />

That was life before.<br />

In the summer of 2010, Brandye was<br />

training for the Watermelon Classic run<br />

when she began having regular headaches.<br />

Blaming it on the heat and the fact that her<br />

children were a handful during the summer<br />

months, she began taking Excedrin Migraine<br />

regularly to try to find relief. She’d experienced<br />

migraines off and on during her life<br />

and saw a neurologist once a year to keep<br />

them managed. But as the summer continued,<br />

feeling unwell began to take a toll on her.<br />

Brandye found herself sending the kids<br />

over to the neighbors’ homes to play and<br />

not planning her usual outings. Events she<br />

usually hosted and enjoyed, like the summer<br />

planning meeting for Pinelake’s MOMS<br />

program, she forgot to prepare for. She<br />

missed her yearly neurologist appointment<br />

without ever realizing it and unintentionally<br />

offended friends by behaving in ways they<br />

would not normally expect.<br />

In the meantime, Brandye had been<br />

reading in the book of Luke during her daily<br />

devotional time. A few days before her<br />

August 13th birthday, she wrote the words<br />

“God, increase my faith,” in the margin of<br />

her Bible. There was an upcoming church<br />

mission trip to Africa that several of Brandye’s<br />

friends were going on and that she wanted to<br />

join, but she was nervous about leaving her three<br />

young children. “That’s what I meant when<br />

I wrote that. I wanted Him to increase my faith<br />

enough to make me feel comfortable about<br />

leaving the kids,” she laughs. But He would<br />

answer that prayer in a very different way.<br />

In August, Joey planned a trip to New<br />

Orleans to celebrate Brandye’s birthday. Her<br />

brother, an Ole Miss graduate, and Joey, an<br />

LSU fan, had made a bet on which team<br />

would win when they played that year. And<br />

the couple whose team lost had to babysit<br />

the winning couple’s children for a weekend.<br />

Since LSU was victorious that year, Brandye<br />

and Joey were cashing in on the bet and<br />

planned to drop their children (ages 8, 6,<br />

and 3 at the time) off in Covington with her<br />

brother. But as they were unpacking the<br />

kids’ stuff, Brandye suddenly fainted. When<br />

she recovered, she insisted she felt well<br />

enough to continue with their plans. But it<br />

did force her to share with Joey what had<br />

been going on with her health recently.<br />

While they were alone that weekend,<br />

Joey paid closer attention to Brandye’s<br />

behavior than he was usually able to. And<br />

she didn’t seem like herself to him. Her gait<br />

was off as she walked and she was more tired<br />

than usual, so Joey insisted she see a doctor<br />

when they got home. Brandye was unable to<br />

get in to see her neurologist, Dr. Ruth<br />

Fredericks, on such short notice but she did<br />

agree to go to MEA the Tuesday morning<br />

after they returned. She was hoping for<br />

some relief from her headaches.<br />

The doctor she saw that day at MEA<br />

gave her a shot for pain relief but required<br />

that she get a ride home from the clinic. He<br />

also made a call to get an MRI scheduled for<br />

her as soon as possible. Joey, who was at a<br />

meet-the-teacher event for their daughter’s<br />

preschool program, came to pick her up and<br />

asked Brandye’s mentor from Pinelake,<br />

Susan, to come stay with their daughter. But<br />

just as Joey and Brandye were leaving MEA,<br />

the doctor informed them that the imaging<br />

center had a cancellation and asked if they<br />

could go have the MRI performed right then.<br />

The Boyds headed straight to the center for<br />

the test and afterwards were told they could<br />

return to MEA for the doctor to read the<br />

results to them.<br />

Assuming this was how the process usually<br />

worked, they returned to MEA and were<br />

taken immediately to an exam room. A new<br />

doctor, Dr. Marc Hellrung, came into the<br />

room to meet them, explaining that his<br />

colleague they’d just seen that morning was<br />

gone for the day. Dr. Hellrung began their<br />

conversation by saying, “I’ve been praying<br />

about how to deliver this news to you.” And<br />

then he shocked them by saying Brandye<br />

had a brain tumor encased in a cyst that was<br />

the size of a grapefruit. It needed to be<br />

removed immediately.<br />

Life as they knew it was over. Reeling<br />

from the news, the Boyds asked their doctor<br />

if he would pray for them. And so they were<br />

ushered into their new reality through the<br />

prayers of a complete stranger. Brandye said,<br />

“My mind immediately went to what I’d<br />

written in my Bible days before. I knew this<br />

was God answering that prayer. Joey didn’t<br />

know about that yet, but I felt at peace.”<br />

16 • NOVEMBER 2023

They went to more appointments that<br />

day for initial neuro-oncology consultations<br />

and, when they arrived home at the end of<br />

the day, they were met by a crowd of their<br />

church friends. Joey and Brandye took their<br />

boys into a bedroom to share the news with<br />

them (their daughter was too young to<br />

understand what was happening) and pray<br />

together. Brandye remembers those moments<br />

vividly. “The only hospital their boys were<br />

familiar with is the one they were born in -<br />

St. Dominic. So, Blayze prayed that I would<br />

get to go there for my surgery, and he also<br />

asked that I wouldn’t be left alone at all.”<br />

That night, their pastor, Chip Henderson,<br />

and some of the church’s elders, along with<br />

their family and friends, came to pray for the<br />

Boyds. Brandye surprised herself by being<br />

able to pray aloud. “I asked God to let me be<br />

here to finish my roles on earth - to be a help<br />

to Joey and raise my babies. I know I’ll be<br />

healed ultimately, but I do want to be healed<br />

here on earth. Still though, I trusted that His<br />

ways are higher than mine.”<br />

Over the next few days, Dr. Fredericks<br />

helped them form a treatment plan. She was<br />

immediately admitted to the hospital where her<br />

surgeon practiced—which was St. Dominic.<br />

After waiting a few days for the level of<br />

aspirin in her blood to reduce, Brandye had<br />

a five-hour surgery to remove the tumor<br />

which was then sent off for testing. And, in<br />

another answer to her son’s prayer, a kind<br />

nurse brought a cot into the ICU for Joey to<br />

sleep on so he never had to leave Brandye’s<br />

side during recovery.<br />

The initial reports were that the tumor<br />

was benign - a best-case scenario meaning<br />

no additional treatment would be required.<br />

However, further tests revealed the tumor<br />

was malignant - an aggressive grade 3 tumor<br />

that would require every form of treatment<br />

they could throw at it. So, while Brandye<br />

began undergoing radiation, their friends<br />

mobilized support.<br />

Meals began arriving that week in<br />

August and didn’t stop until Thanksgiving.<br />

She remembers offers of help coming in<br />

constantly - “One friend called about<br />

organizing a barbecue fundraiser which made<br />

me laugh because I thought…what am I<br />

going to do? Pass out red and white napkins?<br />

And then another friend asked if she could<br />

sell t-shirts at the fundraiser.” Next, someone<br />

asked Brandye to design a Christmas shirt to<br />

sell, and now, thirteen years later, the shirts<br />

have become an annual fundraiser. “I never<br />

imagined we would still be doing this thirteen<br />

years later. Or that people would actually<br />

continue to buy them!” Brandye marvels.<br />

That was largely because of the poor prognosis<br />

Brandye received after being diagnosed.<br />

They knew her life expectancy would likely<br />

be shorter. The Boyds trusted their doctors,<br />

and they knew that, ultimately, God was in<br />

control of her disease.<br />

After receiving the lifetime maximum<br />

amount of radiation, Brandye began chemotherapy<br />

to hold the cancer at bay. She is<br />

scanned regularly and her treatment is<br />

adjusted as needed when a particular medicine<br />

stops being effective in keeping the remnants<br />

of her tumor stable. But it’s not just the<br />

cancer that has to be monitored constantly.<br />

Brandye fights an even more important daily<br />

battle in her mind and heart. “I’ve always<br />

heard to take your thoughts captive but I<br />

didn’t grasp what it meant. It’s moment by<br />

moment. When my mind starts to go on<br />

trips, I have to say the truth out loud. I may<br />

have this, but God You are still good! When<br />

I got to see my sons graduate from high<br />

school, I was so thankful to live to see that<br />

day. It just changed my entire perspective.”<br />

Early in her treatment, Brandye remembers<br />

waking up at the usual 4am to spend time<br />

with God before the day started. She has a<br />

particular chair she sits in with her Bible and<br />

journal. But, on that particular morning, she<br />

lay there exhausted, trying to will herself up<br />

and into her reading spot. As she lay there,<br />

she felt God prompting her to rest and<br />

assuring her that He could talk to her right<br />

there in her bed. She believes that God then<br />

gave her a visual - a mental image she has<br />

held on to in the years since. She imagined<br />

herself on a roller coaster but knew that<br />

God was the one in charge of driving it. She<br />

shares, “It was like He told me, ‘Look, there<br />

are going to be dips and sharp turns. In the<br />

end, we are going to arrive just fine. But first,<br />

you have to get out of the driver’s seat and<br />

let me take over. Just stay behind me and all<br />

will be well.’”<br />

There have been plenty of scary moments<br />

in the last thirteen years. Her chemo has been<br />

changed twice because of tumor growth, and<br />

she experiences seizures and mini-strokes on<br />

occasion. Brandye has moments, she confesses,<br />

in which she wishes her children could have<br />

had more years with the pre-cancer version<br />

of herself. She’s been sick since her daughter,<br />

now a junior at Hartfield, was three, so she<br />

has no memories of life before her mom’s<br />

diagnosis. And yet, she knows their lives are<br />

better because of it. Brandye thinks often of<br />

the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible.<br />

When Jesus came to visit, Martha was up<br />

cooking and cleaning and playing hostess<br />

while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to learn. When<br />

Martha complained to Jesus that Mary<br />

wasn’t helping, He told her that Mary had<br />

“chosen the better part.”<br />

Brandye remembers herself before cancer<br />

almost as a different person. She longed to<br />

be like Mary but knew her personality made<br />

her prone to Martha’s distraction and worry.<br />

She reminisces, “I don’t think my faith would<br />

ever have grown like it has otherwise. I believe<br />

God knew me and loved me enough that He<br />

knew I needed this. And, honestly, it sounds<br />

crazy but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 17

18 • NOVEMBER 2023


Emma Grace Markham<br />

Bethany Cole<br />





Born in Washington State into a military<br />

family as the youngest of four children, Emma<br />

Grace lived in Germany and was able to visit<br />

a large portion of the world as a young child.<br />

Beginning at the age of two, she began to<br />

develop a deep love of dance that continued<br />

through childhood. While her traveling<br />

eventually stilled as she set up residence in<br />

Clinton, her dancing ambitions continued to<br />

propel her through childhood and adolescence.<br />

It was this affinity for dance that eventually<br />

led her to work alongside and help inspire the<br />

Down syndrome community in the metro<br />

Jackson area.<br />

When Emma Grace arrived at Clinton<br />

High School, Lindsay Pardue, a family friend<br />

who babysat Emma Grace as a child and is<br />

now a special education teacher at CHS,<br />

encouraged Emma Grace to utilize her gift<br />

and love of dancing to become involved<br />

with The Buddy Center. The Buddy Center,<br />

located in Ridgeland, is a place where<br />

“buddies” can attend and participate in a<br />

variety of classes such as handwriting,<br />

painting, dance, and others. “It is an incredible<br />

resource for all who are impacted by Down<br />

syndrome,” says Emma Kate. The Buddy<br />

Center was designed by the Central Mississippi<br />

Down Syndrome Society, whose overall aim<br />

is to provide individuals and families with<br />

Down syndrome community and inclusion.<br />

While in high school, “I decided to be a<br />

helper in [Mrs. Pardue’s] class,” recalls Emma<br />

Grace. “And I loved it! Mrs. Pardue was a key<br />

component in helping the vision of the Buddy<br />

Center come to life, so when she asked if I<br />

would like to teach a dance class, I was so<br />

excited.”<br />

Last September, Emma Grace, along with<br />

her friend Haddie Heindl, began teaching<br />

Saturday dance classes at The Buddy Center.<br />

“We both look forward to it each week,” she<br />

says. “ Dance is my greatest passion, and to<br />

have the opportunity to share it with so many<br />

wonderful people filled with genuine joy is<br />

something I will forever be grateful for.”<br />

Outside of her work at The Buddy<br />

Center, Emma Grace is involved in a number<br />

of school activities, including being a member<br />

of Clinton Attaché since her ninth-grade<br />

year, and a part of the Legends Dance<br />

Company. She is also a participant in<br />

numerous clubs, such as National Honor<br />

Society (serving as president), Student<br />

Council, Anchor Club, Fellowship of<br />

Christian Athletes, and others. Additionally,<br />

she has been recognized as a Hinds County<br />

Distinguished Young Woman.<br />

As her high school career concludes,<br />

Emma Grace is looking towards the future<br />

with dancing in mind. “Next year I plan on<br />

pursuing dance and hope to receive a BFA in<br />

dance performance and choreography,” she<br />

says. This fall she will focus on auditioning<br />

for nationwide BFA programs. Although<br />

Emma Grace is excited about the next<br />

chapter, she will inevitably miss Clinton, and<br />

the annual town events that made for lasting<br />

memories. As she says, “My favorite thing<br />

about Clinton is our traditions.”<br />

Reflecting on the desire to give back and<br />

invest in others, Emma Kate credits her<br />

mother, Krista Markham, and her grandmother,<br />

“Mimi,” with inspiring her to<br />

maintain a compassionate and service-oriented<br />

posture in life. “Two of the most influential<br />

people in my life are my Mimi and mom,”<br />

she explains. “My Mimi reminds me each day<br />

to have compassion for others and encourages<br />

me to have a servant’s heart by her example.<br />

My Mom teaches me to have strength and<br />

persevere through any situation I face, and<br />

she reminds me that if you are determined<br />

enough, you can create a solution for every<br />

problem.”<br />

To learn more about The Central<br />

Mississippi Down Syndrome Society and<br />

The Buddy Center, visit: www.cmdss.org<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 19

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20 • NOVEMBER 2023

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Gift certificate for ballet lessons<br />

Ages 3-18 - $20 per class<br />

gift<br />

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Gift cards -any $$$<br />

The Rug Place<br />

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Candles - $21 and up / MS Made Felicity Pottery<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 21

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Christmas by Candlelight<br />

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22 • NOVEMBER 2023


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Hometown CLINTON • 25

26 • NOVEMBER 2023

The Boswells<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

Judd (46) is the athletic director and head football coach at<br />

Clinton High School. He enjoys hunting and attending all<br />

the kid’s sporting events.<br />

Kim (47) teaches 4th grade math and science at Eastside<br />

Elementary. She enjoys shopping, reading, and attending the<br />

kids’ sporting events.<br />

Lauren (29) teaches science at Northwest Middle School.<br />

She also helps with the dance team there.<br />

Mamie Rae (13) is a 7th grader at Clinton Junior High.<br />

She plays soccer for the school as well as Brilla.<br />

Jax (11) is in the 5th grade at Eastside Elementary. He plays<br />

for the Clinton Reds baseball team and flag football for<br />

parks and rec.<br />

Claire (8) is a 3rd grader at Northside Elementary. She plays<br />

softball for the Clinton Rampage and soccer for Brilla.<br />

How did you meet and how long have you been<br />

married?<br />

Judd and I have known each other since high school. Judd<br />

and my brother were best friends. We have been married 15<br />

years this December.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 27

28 • NOVEMBER 2023

Do you allow time to be with your spouse for a date night?<br />

We try and take a couple of kid-free weekends throughout the year.<br />

Since Judd coaches and our anniversary is in December, we usually<br />

make the Mississippi All Star Football Game and the Mississippi/<br />

Alabama All Star Football games our anniversary getaways. This<br />

year, Judd is the head coach of the Mississippi team, so that will look<br />

a little different for us.<br />

What brings you the greatest joy as a parent?<br />

Knowing that all of our children have accepted Christ as their Lord<br />

and Savior brings us the greatest joy. Claire, our youngest, just asked<br />

Jesus into her heart and will soon be baptized. We are so excited to<br />

know that we will all spend eternity together one day.<br />

Who is the financial manager in your home?<br />

I handle the finances. I joke all the time that Judd doesn’t know if<br />

we have five dollars or five thousand dollars in our checking account.<br />

A few years back, we got the kids Greenlight debit cards in hopes of<br />

helping them see the importance of a dollar. I mainly did the card<br />

because they all tell me to just swipe my card for things. They now see<br />

you can’t swipe a card if the money is not there.<br />

When your children were younger, what was your<br />

discipline philosophy?<br />

We have always tried to teach our kids that every action will have a<br />

consequence. All of our kids have very different personalities that<br />

have required us to handle disciplining them a little differently.<br />

What works for Jax Boswell doesn’t always work for the girls.<br />

What do you see in your role as the greatest benefit to<br />

your family?<br />

Judd is the calm to the storm when he needs to be, but he also can<br />

be the one that lays the hammer down. I feel like I am the organizer<br />

and planner for our family. Maybe it is the teacher in me, but I always<br />

like to have an itinerary wherever we go.<br />

What’s a quick go-to meal that isn’t fast food?<br />

And who does the cooking?<br />

We actually share cooking duties. Judd grills and I do the inside<br />

cooking. We also try to rotate who cleans the kitchen based on who<br />

cooked that night. If you cook, you don’t clean. Our favorite go-to<br />

meal is taco bar. It is about the only meal all of us will agree on.<br />

How long has Clinton been your home?<br />

We have been in Clinton for 11 years. Judd has been here for 12.<br />

He commuted the first year and I stayed in Forest. Lauren was the<br />

valedictorian, and we didn’t want to move on her senior year. Jax was<br />

actually born the first home game Judd coached for the Arrows. I was<br />

on bed rest and didn’t get to go. I called Judd right before the game<br />

and told him I was headed to the hospital, but I wanted him to coach<br />

until I called him back. My doctor ended up calling him and he left<br />

at halftime. We call Jax our “Friday Night Lights” baby.<br />

What are some of your favorite things about Clinton?<br />

We love our church, Pinelake. The kids are always so excited when<br />

the gingerbread house gets displayed in front of Mascagni Wealth.<br />

Claire especially loves walking the brick streets looking for rocks.<br />

How do you spend your summer breaks?<br />

With both of us being educators, we love our summers. Our favorite<br />

vacation spot is the beach, but lately we have spent our summers at<br />

ball fields. We are happy to do that, too.<br />

What accomplishments make you proud during your time<br />

living in Clinton?<br />

Judd coached the Clinton Arrows to their first state championship<br />

in 2016. I am happy to say that our 4th grade math team has been<br />

number one in the state for two years in a row. We both love our<br />

Arrows, whether they are on a field or in the classroom, and watching<br />

them succeed in both has been so fun.<br />

What drives you to have the job that you have?<br />

Judd Helping kids, watching them grow mentally and physically.<br />

Being able to have an impact on how they handle themselves when<br />

adversity hits. I have always felt that sports teach valuable life lessons<br />

and that is what drives me to do what I do.<br />

Kim Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs. I love watching<br />

kids grow in confidence. We have been in Clinton long enough that<br />

I am able to watch some of my former students play for Judd. It is<br />

such an incredible feeling to have cheered them on in 4th grade<br />

academics to cheering them on as a 16/17 year old athlete.<br />


What’s your favorite thing to do as a family?<br />

Mamie Rae Attend my brother and sister’s athletic events.<br />

Jax I like to hunt with my dad and sometimes I let my sisters come.<br />

Claire I like going to church with my family and going out to eat.<br />

What’s your favorite restaurant?<br />

Mamie Rae Osaka<br />

Jax Buffalo Wild Wings<br />

Claire Lost Pizza<br />

What’s your favorite TV show?<br />

Mamie Rae Dance Moms<br />

Jax Duck Dynasty<br />

Claire Thundermans<br />

What’s your go-to family Bible verse?<br />

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer<br />

– Romans 12:12<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 29

THANKS<br />

to our readers<br />

and advertisers.<br />

We appreciate<br />

you!<br />

30 • NOVEMBER 2023

Brittany McHann 601.506.5686 | Brad McHann 601.259.0269<br />

Whether you are interested in buying or selling, Highland Realty MS is here to help.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 31

Meet<br />


Followell<br />

The name Eden, in Hebrew,<br />

means “paradise.” A reference<br />

to the Garden which served as the<br />

cradle of creation, where every fiber<br />

of existence steadied itself in perfect<br />

order. It reflects a reality beyond the<br />

realm of our current world, connoting<br />

the hope of what was and what<br />

Christians believe will one day come<br />

to pass: restoration, redemption, and<br />

complete virtuous equilibrium. Given<br />

the context, it seems a fitting name for<br />

Eden Followell. Adopted from circumstances<br />

of abandonment that resulted<br />

in physical and emotional harm, Eden’s<br />

name is a reflection of what her parents,<br />

Robby and Jess Followell, hope tells a<br />

greater story - one of God’s deep love<br />

and summoning heart for humanity.<br />

The Foundation of a Family<br />

Robby and Jess Followell met in 2005, while<br />

both attending Mississippi College. Married<br />

three years later, in the summer of 2008, they<br />

lived on campus serving as resident director<br />

(Jess) and admissions counselor (Robby).<br />

During that time, Robby also began to launch<br />

his business, Followell Fotography.<br />

In 2009, Robby transitioned to photography<br />

full time; he opened a studio on the brick streets,<br />

while Jess taught school in the Jackson Public<br />

School System. In August of 2011, their first<br />

daughter, Meg, was born. With the photography<br />

business gaining footing, Jess opted to stay<br />

home with Meg. The family built a house on<br />

Lawson Street, in Olde Towne, and settled<br />

into life in Clinton.<br />

Bringing Eden Home<br />

Five months after Meg was born, Robby and<br />

Jess watched a documentary detailing the<br />

gender preference crisis for boys over girls in<br />

India and China. Around the same time, their<br />

church, Pinelake, was launching an initiative<br />

to highlight adoption and offer financial support<br />

to adoptive families. The surrounding messages<br />

struck a deep chord of conviction, and the<br />

Followell’s began to pursue options for bringing<br />

a daughter home. Given that they were too<br />

young to adopt from China, India became the<br />

immediate choice.<br />

The journey took just under three years, in<br />

total, before Eden would be in their arms and<br />

officially their daughter. They began the process<br />

in early 2012, and brought Eden home in late<br />

2014. The days in between, filled with paperwork<br />

and approvals and prayers, were often<br />

marked by the unknown. “On the front end, prior<br />

to adoption, the emotions of longing didn’t have<br />

a face, but she was a promise,” reflects Robby.<br />

32 • NOVEMBER 2023

Hometown CLINTON • 33

“Just as powerful was a sense that we were<br />

empowered by the community that rallied<br />

behind us, and Eden was a part of Clinton’s<br />

story. The whole process transformed my<br />

view of the Body of Christ, as people shared<br />

their hopes and dreams alongside us.” At the<br />

conclusion of 2014, the Followell’s traveled to<br />

India to meet Eden and bring her home.<br />

Eden is Home: Making Medical Decisions<br />

As the Followell’s settled into life with Eden,<br />

they began to navigate the range of emotions<br />

and needs that accompany adoptive parent life.<br />

One of which, Jess notes, was the aforementioned<br />

fundamental need for community. “The power<br />

of community has been present from the moment<br />

we got home, and it has not let up,” says Jess.<br />

This community has propelled them through<br />

each stage of the last ten years, including<br />

navigating the medical landscape of Eden’s<br />

treatments.<br />

Upon arrival back to the States, one of the<br />

Followell’s primary objectives was seeking out<br />

care and knowledgeable opinions regarding<br />

Eden’s birth defects. Eden was born with defects<br />

causing blood restriction in all four limbs, which<br />

prohibited all of her fingers from fully developing.<br />

As a result, she had many varying issues with her<br />

lower limbs.<br />

To date, Eden has had eleven surgeries over<br />

the last ten years of her life, with some being<br />

minor and outpatient, while others were far more<br />

complicated. “The most recent surgery she had<br />

was a reconstruction of both feet,” explains Jess.<br />

“Thus far, the surgery has been deemed<br />

incredibly successful.”<br />

Life Now<br />

Reflecting on the journey of adoption, with<br />

both its joys and challenges, Jess says that,<br />

“We believe adoption is beautiful because it<br />

stretches the whole family to embrace life<br />

lessons and perspectives we would never have<br />

had without Eden. She has pushed us to take a<br />

hard look into places and to endure things that<br />

have strengthened us all. We have a broader<br />

experience with love, suffering, perseverance,<br />

and community because of her.” The ways in<br />

which Eden has added such beauty to her family<br />

is largely due to her personality, which Robby<br />

says, “is deep and complex, while also affectionate<br />

and wildly defensive of her independence.<br />

Our journey has been one of reminding her that<br />

she doesn’t have to protect herself.”<br />

Eden is reminded of this reality both in her<br />

parents and siblings (older sister Meg, now 11,<br />

and younger brother Simon, who was born in<br />

2016), and by being raised in the welcoming<br />

environment of Clinton. “Clinton has an<br />

approachability that is distinctive,” says Robby.<br />

“It is such a beautiful mix of people, including<br />

many adoptive families.”<br />

The Adoptive Calling<br />

When asked what advice they would give<br />

prospective adoptive parents, Robby says,<br />

“The hardest part of the adoption journey isn’t<br />

getting the child, but following with the child<br />

after the ‘Gotcha Day.’ There is so much<br />

emphasis on the front end, and not as much on<br />

the lifelong commitment.” As the years in the<br />

adoptive journey have passed, Robby says<br />

they have realized, “There is no way to get<br />

as up close and personal to the Gospel,<br />

than to adopt a child. If you feel<br />

any tug, walk one step at a<br />

time and God will lead the<br />

steps to follow.”<br />

34 • NOVEMBER 2023

Hometown CLINTON • 35

What does<br />

freedom<br />

mean<br />

to you?<br />

Hometown Magazines<br />

Salutes the Veterans<br />

at Brookdale<br />

Senior Living<br />

Ben Alford<br />

Freedom means the world to me.<br />

“Honor to the soldier and sailor<br />

everywhere, who bravely bears<br />

his country’s cause. Honor, also,<br />

to the citizen who cares for his<br />

brother in the field and serves,<br />

as he best can, the same cause.”<br />

- Lincoln<br />

Edna Dreher<br />

Being able to do what you want.<br />

36 • NOVEMBER 2023

Bob Dunaway<br />

To do what we want without harming our fellow<br />

man. We have freedom to express our thoughts<br />

and freedom to worship.<br />

Charles Bohannon<br />

I can go anyplace I like to, and I can do anything<br />

l like to. That’s freedom.<br />

Elton Booth<br />

Not fighting<br />

Gerald Bourgeois<br />

It means you can do anything you want to do<br />

unless it infringes on someone else’s efforts.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 37

James McDonald<br />

We should have it.<br />

JD Burchfield<br />

I can do the things I want to do.<br />

John Salter<br />

It means America.<br />

Robert Clark<br />

Freedom is what every veteran did so that we<br />

could have it.<br />

38 • NOVEMBER 2023

Jean Johnson<br />

I am all for the constitution and what those men did.<br />

I’m free because of what they did, and I don’t forget it.<br />

John McNeece<br />

My country is a free country to live in<br />

and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.<br />

Thomas Ogletree<br />

Freedom means being able to speak and do what<br />

you want to do as long as it’s within the law.<br />

Tom Shreve<br />

Freedom is that you aren’t obligated to a dictator.<br />

We can change political parties and feel free to do it.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 39

Cranberry Pecan Sweet<br />

Potato Wild Rice Pilaf<br />

• 2 cups chicken broth<br />

• 1 cup wild rice blend<br />

• ½ teaspoon dried parsley<br />

• ½ teaspoon dried oregano<br />

• ½ teaspoon dried thyme<br />

• 1 tablespoon olive oil<br />

• 1 cup sweet potato diced small<br />

• ¼ cup chopped onion<br />

• ⅓ cup dried cranberries<br />

• ⅓ cup pecans chopped<br />

In a medium saucepan, bring the<br />

broth to a boil and add wild rice,<br />

parsley, oregano, and thyme. Reduce<br />

the heat to a simmer and cover with<br />

a lid. Cook for 45 minutes or until<br />

tender. In another skillet add olive<br />

oil, sweet potato, and onion and<br />

cook until tender. Add<br />

cranberries and chopped<br />

pecans and cook for 1-2<br />

minutes. Add to the rice<br />

mixture and fluff with a fork.<br />

Parmesan Herb Roasted<br />

Acorn Squash<br />

• 2 acorn squash<br />

(small to medium sized)<br />

• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil<br />

• 1 cup finely grated parmesan<br />

cheese<br />

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder<br />

• ½ teaspoon kosher salt<br />

• ½ teaspoon dried basil<br />

• ½ teaspoon dried thyme<br />

• ½ teaspoon dried oregano<br />

Preheat oven to 425. Slice the top<br />

and bottom of the squash, then<br />

place it on a flat end and slice it in<br />

half. Scoop out the seeds with a<br />

spoon and slice each half into slices<br />

about 1-inch thick.<br />

Place slices on a parchment-lined<br />

baking tray. If there’s extra parmesan<br />

herb mixture in the bowl, just press<br />

that onto the top side of the slices.<br />

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until soft<br />

and lightly golden on top. Transfer<br />

the roasted acorn squash to a<br />

serving platter and enjoy!<br />

Pineapple Cheese<br />

Casserole<br />

• 2 (15 oz.) cans pineapple chunks<br />

drained<br />

• 1 cup white sugar<br />

• ¾ cup all-purpose flour<br />

• 2 cups shredder cheddar cheese<br />

• 25 buttery round crackers,<br />

crumbled<br />

• ½ cup melted butter<br />

Preheat oven to 350. Spread<br />

pineapple a 2 quart casserole dish.<br />

In a small bowl, stir together sugar,<br />

flour and cheese. Add to casserole<br />

dish. Sprinkle crackers over the top<br />

of pineapple and cheese mixture.<br />

Pour melted butter over the top and<br />

bake for 30 minutes.<br />

Cornbread Casserole<br />

• ¼ lb. butter, melted<br />

• 1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn,<br />

drained<br />

• 1 (15 oz.) can cream corn<br />

• 1 (8.5 oz.) package corn bread mix<br />

• 1 oz. sour cream<br />

Preheat oven to 350. Fold all<br />

ingredients together in a mixing<br />

bowl and pour into a 2 quart<br />

casserole dish. Bake for 1 hour.<br />

40 • NOVEMBER 2023

Garlic Parmesan<br />

Roasted Sweet Potatoes<br />

• 2 large sweet potatoes, washed<br />

(peeling is optional)<br />

• 3 Tbsp. melted butter<br />

• 1 cup parmesan<br />

• ½ teaspoon fresh cracked<br />

black pepper<br />

• 1 Tbsp. minced garlic<br />

(or garlic powder)<br />

• 1 teaspoon salt<br />

• 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning<br />

• 4 strips of bacon (optional)<br />

• 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped<br />

for garnish (or chives)<br />

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking<br />

sheet with parchment paper. Prep<br />

sweet potatoes by first cutting off the<br />

ends and slicing in rounds with<br />

a mandolin slicer or a sharp knife.<br />

In a small bowl, combine parmesan,<br />

garlic, salt, pepper, and Italian<br />

seasoning. Arrange sweet potato<br />

slices on the baking sheet, slightly<br />

overlapping. Brush with melted<br />

butter and sprinkle the parmesan<br />

mixture over. Roast sweet potatoes<br />

at 400 for 25 minutes.<br />

In the meantime, cook bacon on the<br />

stove until crispy, drain from fat, and<br />

then cut into small bits. This step is<br />

optional. Remove roasted sweet<br />

potatoes from the oven, sprinkle with<br />

bacon bits, and fresh chopped parsley<br />

or chives. Serve the roasted sweet<br />

potatoes immediately with a delicious<br />

grilled meat, or on its own, enjoy!<br />

Apple Cranberry<br />

Walnut Salad<br />

• 6 cups salad<br />

• 1 red apple<br />

• 1 green apple<br />

• 1 cup walnuts - roughly chopped<br />

• 4-6 bacon strips - cooked and<br />

chopped (optional)<br />

• ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese<br />

• ⅓ cup dried cranberries<br />

Dressing<br />

• 1 cup apple juice<br />

• 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar<br />

(or white vinegar)<br />

• 2 tablespoons honey<br />

• ½ teaspoon salt<br />

• ¼ teaspoon black pepper<br />

• ¼ cup oil<br />

• candied walnuts (optional)<br />

• 1 cup walnut halves<br />

• 1 Tbsp. butter<br />

• ¼ cup sugar<br />

• ¼ teaspoon salt<br />

• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon<br />

Core and chop apples (thin slices or<br />

1 inch chunks). Toss lettuce, apples,<br />

walnuts, feta, bacon (if using) and<br />

cranberries together in a large bowl.<br />

Whisk together all dressing<br />

ingredients or combine in a jar and<br />

shake vigorously. Toss with salad<br />

immediately before serving. Enjoy!<br />

Sheet Pan Roasted<br />

Vegetables<br />

• 8 zucchini, peeled and chopped<br />

• 1 eggplant, peeled and diced<br />

• 8 carrots, diced<br />

• 16 cherry tomatoes<br />

• 2 red onions, sliced<br />

• 1 red bell pepper, sliced<br />

• 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced<br />

• ½ cup olive oil<br />

• 1 tsp. dried rosemary<br />

• 1 tsp. dried thyme<br />

• 2 bay leaves, crushed<br />

• 1 tsp. dried oregano<br />

• 2 cloves garlic, minced<br />

• 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice<br />

• 1 tsp. grated lemon zest<br />

• Salt and pepper to taste<br />

In a large bowl mix zucchini, eggplant,<br />

carrots, tomatoes, onions and peppers<br />

with oil, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves,<br />

oregano, garlic, lemon juice, lemon<br />

zest, salt and pepper. Cover and chill<br />

for at least 2 hours, and preferably<br />

overnight. Preheat oven to 400.<br />

On a large pan, roast the vegetables,<br />

uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until<br />

the tomatoes have split and the edges<br />

of some of the vegetables are starting<br />

to crisp. Remove from oven and stir<br />

before returning to the oven for<br />

another 20 minutes. Reduce heat to<br />

200 and continue cooking until<br />

vegetables are tender, turning every<br />

20 minutes.<br />

The Best Mashed Potatoes<br />

• 5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes<br />

• 2 cups parmesan cheese<br />

• 1½ cups cream cheese<br />

• 1 cup chopped fresh chives<br />

• ½ cup butter<br />

• ½ medium head garlic,<br />

peeled and minced<br />

• 1 pinch of salt and pepper to taste<br />

Peel and quarter potatoes and place<br />

in a large pot. Cover with salted water<br />

and bring to a boil. Cook until tender<br />

but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain<br />

and return potatoes to the pot over<br />

low heat to dry for 1 to 2 minutes.<br />

Add parmesan cheese, cream cheese,<br />

chives, butter, garlic, salt and pepper.<br />

Use a potato masher to mash until<br />

smooth and serve.<br />

Easiest Eggplant<br />

• ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs<br />

• 1 medium eggplant, peeled and<br />

sliced into ½ inch rounds<br />

• 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise, or as needed<br />

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking<br />

sheet with aluminum foil. Place<br />

breadcrumbs in a small shallow dish.<br />

Coat eggplant slices on both sides<br />

with mayonnaise, then press into<br />

breadcrumbs to coat. Place on the<br />

baking sheet. Bake until bottoms are<br />

golden brown, about 20 minutes.<br />

Flip slices over and continue baking<br />

until brown on the other side, 20 to<br />

25 minutes.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 41



Just a short drive away, Raymond<br />

is one of central Mississippi’s<br />

best-kept secrets.<br />

For an easy day trip, Raymond invites you to shop, eat,<br />

and experience all the unique small town has to offer.<br />

Centrally located almost exactly in the middle of the state,<br />

Raymond is easily accessible from I-20 and is a short drive<br />

from downtown Jackson and the airport. From its earliest days,<br />

native Americans and early settlers were drawn to the area<br />

due to its abundant wildlife. When Hinds County was established<br />

in 1821, Raymond became the first county seat. It still<br />

remains as one of two county seats for Hinds County.<br />

42 • NOVEMBER 2023

Hometown CLINTON • 43

Sadly, Raymond’s namesake,<br />

sells his premium duck calls there,<br />

I love the people. I believe visitors are<br />

up-and-coming haven for the arts and<br />

General Raymond Robinson, was<br />

and he and his wife, Ann, carefully<br />

attracted to genuineness, integrity,<br />

a place where there is never a lack of<br />

killed by Grant’s army as they marched<br />

curate leather goods and gifts for<br />

passion, and a love for what you do.<br />

something to do. Eagle Ridge<br />

his troops through the area on their<br />

those who enjoy the outdoors.<br />

Love and respect for each other’s<br />

Conference Center is nearby and<br />

way to capture Vicksburg. On May 12,<br />

Josh grew up here and has chosen<br />

talents and gifts are the key for<br />

offers a golf course, a meeting venue,<br />

1863, 12,000 Union soldiers and<br />

Raymond to locate his business and<br />

multiple businesses to co-exist and<br />

and newly renovated hotel rooms.<br />

3,000 Confederate soldiers met in<br />

raise their children. “There is a sense<br />

grow in healthy ways toward a<br />

Over 70 happenings are held in<br />

the Battle of Raymond. After the<br />

of community here that I want to<br />

greater future.”<br />

the town each year, including the<br />

battle, over 1,000 wounded soldiers<br />

sustain.” Josh and his wife, Ann, are<br />

Porch has invested all of<br />

Raymond Country Fair each May, and<br />

from both armies were cared for by<br />

raising their two children in Raymond.<br />

herself into growing the community.<br />

Christmas on the Square in Decem-<br />

residents in their homes, in St. Mark’s<br />

“I could have put my business<br />

In addition to other ventures and<br />

ber, the two largest events presented<br />

Episcopal Church, and in the newly<br />

anywhere, but I choose to be here.<br />

accomplishments in Raymond,<br />

by the Chamber. Ribbon cuttings for<br />

built Hinds County Courthouse.<br />

I believe in our town, and I want to<br />

she currently owns two growing<br />

new businesses, open houses,<br />

Stains of blood still remain visible<br />

continue investing in its future.”<br />

businesses. The Lucky Hen is a unique<br />

and meet-and-greets make up<br />

on the wood floors of St. Mark’s,<br />

Take a drive around the Square<br />

gift shop that highlights products<br />

more activities.<br />

a definite reminder of times past.<br />

and it’s easy to see both the town’s<br />

made in Mississippi with a distinct<br />

Shopping in Raymond is a<br />

Today’s Raymond is a quiet and<br />

historic background as well as its<br />

style of gifts and curiosities. The<br />

pleasure, with gift shops offering<br />

peaceful place where people come to<br />

progression towards the future. Kim<br />

White Horse Coffee Shop, situated<br />

made-in-Mississippi products,<br />

raise families and retire. Jerry Bryant<br />

Porch, who serves as president of the<br />

within The Lucky Hen, offers a range<br />

professional framing and art, a coffee<br />

and his wife, Cathryn, moved to<br />

Raymond Chamber of Commerce,<br />

of specialty coffee drinks and good<br />

shop, a shop for teas and shakes,<br />

Raymond in 1969, and for decades<br />

says, “I want to see Raymond grow<br />

vibes all around.<br />

antiques and consignments, and a<br />

he served the town as their only<br />

with integrity to honor the past while<br />

With Hinds Community College<br />

grocery store conveniently located on<br />

pharmacist. “I like seeing the progress<br />

being progressive in our thinking<br />

located nearby, Raymond has cultural,<br />

the Square. Merchants and Planters<br />

in Raymond,” he says.<br />

and vision. I have a love for Raymond<br />

recreational, and educational<br />

Bank is an anchor for the community<br />

Within the past couple of years,<br />

and the state of Mississippi. I believe<br />

opportunities often only found in<br />

and offers many services and<br />

Albert Smathers has created a fabulous<br />

visitors to our sweet city come here<br />

larger communities. The town is<br />

continually helps support the town.<br />

mural on the side of the old drug-<br />

for a genuine experience, and that’s<br />

quaint and vibrant and is focused on<br />

Little Big Store has been selling<br />

store, which now houses Raggio<br />

what they’ll find. It’s a new day in<br />

providing a good quality of life for<br />

albums in Raymond since the early<br />

Mercantile. Josh Raggio makes and<br />

Raymond. I love the history here, and<br />

everyone. It has developed into an<br />

1990s and they ship albums all over<br />

the world. Boondocks on Highway 18<br />

offers shooting ranges and training<br />

classes for the community and they<br />

routinely help sponsor events and<br />

even host events on site.<br />

Several new Airbnbs have opened<br />

in Raymond and surrounding areas,<br />

many in historic 1800s buildings, and<br />

stay booked by people who are<br />

traveling the Natchez Trace Parkway,<br />

located only three miles from the city<br />

limits. Many people also follow the<br />

44 • NOVEMBER 2023

Mississippi Blues Trail. “It’s not unusual<br />

to see people visiting here from<br />

Europe, the Netherlands, Asia, and<br />

other places,” says Porch, who credits<br />

Raymond’s mayor, Isla Tullos, and city<br />

leaders, along with town patriarchs<br />

for making the city what it is today.<br />

“They have worked for many decades<br />

and have paved the way for the<br />

possibilities and potential for greatness<br />

that we enjoy today,” Porch says.<br />

“Groups like the Raymond<br />

Garden Club keep our city looking<br />

beautiful,” says Porch. “They maintain<br />

a community garden, select the Yard<br />

of the Month, keep the community<br />

involved, and work hard to keep our<br />

Square looking nice.”<br />

The Culture Club has been<br />

meeting monthly since the 1930s,<br />

keeping the city’s history relevant and<br />

hosting speakers from all over the<br />

state. Friends of the Library board<br />

offers community events and holds<br />

weekly readings for school children.<br />

Several churches are in the area and<br />

many have fantastic architecture and<br />

histories, adding a real sense of<br />

support and resources for the city.<br />

“Everybody calls this Mayberry,”<br />

laughs Porch. “But there is something<br />

to that. There is a real genuine spirit<br />

here. We have a lot of momentum in<br />

Raymond, and we encourage folks to<br />

come spend a day with us to see all<br />

we have to offer. We don’t take<br />

anything for granted and we believe<br />

every day is a gift to be shared. There<br />

is a real sense of goodness here and<br />

that is something we strive for and<br />

want to share with others.”<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 45

46 • NOVEMBER 2023


Hometown CLINTON • 47

In compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972 of the Higher Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other<br />

applicable Federal and State Acts, Hinds Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or veteran status<br />

in its educational programs and activities. We recognize our responsibility to provide an open and welcoming environment that fosters a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion for employees and students to collaboratively learn,<br />

work and serve our communities.The following have been designated to handle inquiries regarding these policies:<br />

48 • NOVEMBER 2023<br />

EEOC Compliance: Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Box 1100 Raymond MS 39154; Phone: 601-857-3458 or Email: EEOC@hindscc.edu.<br />

Title IX: Associate Vice President Student Services, Title IX Coordinator, Box 1100 Raymond MS 39154; Phone: 601-857-3353 or Email: TitleIX@hindscc.edu.

Hometown RANKIN • 49

50 • NOVEMBER 2023

Hometown CLINTON • 51

SALUTE<br />

to First Responders<br />

Sponsored by<br />

Pat & Randy Bell<br />


Why did you decide to be a first responder?<br />

Honestly, back in 1999, I was approached by an officer asking me if I had<br />

ever thought about being a police officer. I replied no and then a few days<br />

later I was a reserve officer. I will try anything once—and that was a little<br />

over 24 years ago.<br />

How long have you been with the Clinton Police Department?<br />

I started as a reserve officer in August 1999 while employed at Delphi/<br />

Packard Electric and started full time April 2011.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

I have two children; Megan, 19, attends Mississippi State and is in The<br />

Famous Maroon Band, and Kara, 16, is in her junior year at Clinton High<br />

School performing in Attache’. Megan wants to be a teacher and Kara feels<br />

like she wants to pursue a career in public safety, at the moment.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have experienced in your job?<br />

Calls for service dealing with small children because they are unable to<br />

defend/speak for themselves. There have been a few calls for service that<br />

have really bothered me dealing with child neglect cases.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in your spare time.<br />

Anything outside—from hunting, fishing, helping others with outside<br />

landscape/home renovation, fixing my old pick-up truck and not thinking<br />

about police work.<br />

Lieutenant<br />

Matt<br />



What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

Spend some time out west in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton<br />

National Park, and then go to Alaska. All three places have a shortage of<br />

people during certain times of the year.<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

I will say that I admire my father, Charles Campbell. My father has taught<br />

me so much over the course of my life. He has taught me everything I<br />

know today about the outdoors, being independent, and good work ethic.<br />

He has always been there to help guide me in life and that has molded me<br />

into the man I am today.<br />

What advice would you give to to a young person?<br />

Pick your friends wisely. Do not let image be a factor in your life. Stay true<br />

to yourself. Find a career that you love/want to do; money is not everything.<br />

Enjoy life, tomorrow is not always guaranteed. And appreciate the<br />

small things.<br />

What is your favorite thing about the City of Clinton?<br />

The small-town feel and the support from Clinton residents. I enjoy the<br />

farmers markets during the summer months.<br />

52 • NOVEMBER 2023

I need to get<br />

an oil change.<br />

Send text about<br />

that meeting.<br />

Don’t forget<br />

to pick up<br />

DINNER!<br />

Report due<br />


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Hometown CLINTON • 53


Clinton<br />

The Clinton Public School District earned an<br />

A-Rating from the Mississippi Department of Education’s<br />

accountability system, the highest possible academic<br />

rating a Mississippi school district can attain.<br />

MDE officially approved the accountability grades<br />

for the 2022-2023 school year on September 28.<br />

With an overall score of 782, the district grew<br />

eight points, ranking as the third-highest performing<br />

district in the state of Mississippi and the highest<br />

performing district in the metro area.<br />

This year’s achievement places CPSD in the top<br />

five school districts in the state for the second<br />

consecutive year since MDE resumed school<br />

accountability grades in 2022.<br />

Clinton’s overall score of 782 marks the district’s<br />

highest accountability score achieved under the new<br />

accountability system, breaking the district’s record<br />

set in the 2021-2022 school year.<br />

“The ability to achieve at such a high level, on a<br />

consistent basis, is a reflection of the hard work of<br />

our teachers, students and school administrators,”<br />

CPSD Superintendent Dr. Andy Schoggin said.<br />

“All members of our Clinton Arrow community–<br />

our parents, students, and community partners–<br />

understand and support the mission of our district<br />

and have an important role in achieving excellence,”<br />

Dr. Schoggin added.<br />

“We are truly blessed to have such wonderful<br />

teachers and administrators who help our students<br />

set high expectations and achieve their goals,” CPSD<br />

Board of Trustees President Bernard Kines said.<br />

Dr. Schoggin said this continued success is a<br />

result of teachers continuously seeking avenues for<br />

student improvement.<br />

“Sustaining success is an incredible accomplishment<br />

for our district,” Dr. Schoggin said. “Our teachers<br />

understand the importance of maximizing each day<br />

we have with students.”<br />

This year’s accountability rankings have Clinton<br />

Park, Northside, Eastside and Clinton Junior High<br />

School continuing their sustained A-Rating. Sumner<br />

Hill Junior High School and Clinton High School<br />

advance to a combined A-Rating.<br />

Though Lovett Elementary showed tremendous<br />

growth, the sixth grade campus rated as a B.<br />

This year’s A-District celebration was held at<br />

halftime during the Clinton Arrows Football game on<br />

Friday, October 20.<br />

Mississippi’s schools and districts are graded on<br />

an A-F scale. The grades are part of the state’s<br />

accountability system, which helps teachers, school<br />

leaders, parents and communities know how well<br />

their local schools and districts are serving their<br />

students.<br />

Calculations for the accountability grades rely<br />

heavily on the amount of progress elementary students<br />

make in English Language Arts, mathematics, and<br />

science. Secondary students are also assessed in<br />

these areas, as well as in Algebra I, Biology, English II<br />

and U.S. History. Other factors such as graduation<br />

rates, English Learner progress and participation in<br />

advanced placement and dual enrollment courses are<br />

considered in the state’s accountability model.<br />


• Ocean Springs 810 • Long Beach 797<br />

• Clinton 782 • Petal 766<br />

• Neshoba County 766 • Enterprise 760<br />

• Union County 759 • Madison County 758<br />

• Forrest County AHS 756 • Biloxi 755<br />

54 • NOVEMBER 2023

Clinton Christian Academy<br />

CCA held our homecoming game and court on September 8th. We hosted McAdams School and won the game 46-0!<br />

Homecoming Maids L-R: 7th grade: Becca Uzzle, 8th grade: Kylee Fullerton, 9th grade: Izzie Mcgehee, Kenlie Mitchell, Seniors: Annie Katherine King, Selena White (Queen),<br />

Alyssa Folse 10th grade: Jaelyn Gholar, Madison Curington 11th grade: Ashlyn Barnes, Annalise Whitworth<br />

Varsity Cheer just won grand champs in their division at the MAIS State competition.<br />

CCA was excited to add girls’ volleyball to their list of sports this year.<br />

The girls did great and went to the first round of playoffs.<br />

CCA is having a great year in football under new Head Coach Teddy Dyess.<br />

Our kindergarten and 1st grade enjoy a trip to Mitchell Farms Pumpkin Patch.<br />

Hometown CLINTON • 55


Mt. Salus<br />

Elementary students have been enjoying projects, experiments, and guest speakers in their STEM classes this semester. From building experiments<br />

and learning about plants to making “oobleck” and hearing about different gems and minerals, students have been busy increasing their love for science,<br />

technology, engineering, and mathematics with their teacher, Mrs. Tiffany McNeely.<br />

Students are enjoying chess club for a third year. Second Grade Teacher Amy Carter, leads the program, which challenges and encourages students to grow<br />

in their ability and knowledge of chess. Students in 2nd grade through high school meet weekly to practice their skills, learn more about chess, and engage<br />

in friendly competition. Several of the students will be participating in the upcoming MAIS chess tournament.<br />

Each fall, Mt. Salus introduces and showcases its fall athletic teams. This fall, staff, students, family, and friends enjoyed a cross country run by the elementary<br />

and junior varsity cross country teams, as well as an exhibition elementary soccer game. After these events, Head of School Mr. Bill Maner introduced each<br />

of the fall athletic teams and their members, while all in attendance enjoyed wonderful food and time to catch up and fellowship.<br />

56 • NOVEMBER 2023

Hometown CLINTON • 57

TheTime COIN<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Living in Mississippi means living far from climate control.<br />

The temperature gauge can resemble a rollercoaster, and the seasons can<br />

name their own conditions – even in November and December.<br />

I recall a particular December weather pattern when we lived further north in<br />

the state. The radio Christmas station sang of winter wonderlands, sleigh bells<br />

ringing, and “Baby, it’s cold outside.” But in reality, the grass was still green, the lawn<br />

mowers still hummed, and shoppers wore shorts and flip flops to the mall.<br />

We opened lovely Christmas cards with traditional snow scenes, but our<br />

back yard actually had December blooms of daisies, begonias, and Mexican heather.<br />

My four baskets of hanging ferns shot out new growth and leafed out like they were<br />

finalists in the county fair.<br />

Meanwhile, sweaters stayed in dresser drawers, fleece jackets rested in closets,<br />

and furry boots waited their turn behind sandals. Turkey and dressing kept their spot<br />

on the Christmas menu, but grilled burgers and baked beans would actually<br />

have been the more appropriate fare.<br />

There was a lesson for me in the unseasonable December weather.<br />

Complaining and whining didn’t drop the thermostats a single degree.<br />

While I dreamed of frosty mornings and toasty firesides, those on<br />

fixed incomes were grateful for the break on heating bills, and the<br />

homeless surely rejoiced for every mild night.<br />

Nature didn’t gripe about balmy December days. Instead, they<br />

flourished in the lingering blooming climate. I enjoyed roses longer<br />

than I ever remembered because they continued to do what their<br />

Creator intended. They bloomed where they were planted!<br />

If they had followed the calendar, they would have dropped their<br />

leaves and turned into thorny stubs. Instead, they absorbed the warm sun<br />

rays and continued to add beauty to the landscape.<br />

The apostle Paul is a shining example of living free from murmuring and<br />

complaining: ”...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”<br />

A few “blooms” added to our attitudes during a month that’s become way too<br />

frenzied could make a powerful statement on our world’s landscape.<br />

58 • NOVEMBER 2023

Hometown CLINTON • 59

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