Lackey Scholars selected for 2024-25 school year

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“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream…It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.”

          —Benjamin E. Mays

Beginning this fall, 14 Mule Train Historical Society Hilliard L. Lackey Scholars will begin the 9th grade at Palmer High School in Marks, MS. They will join 36 continuing Lackey Scholars in grades 10th, 11th, and 12th for a total of 50. 

All Lackey Scholars get academic enhancement materials, guidelines for living purposefully, and inspirational advice the third Tuesday in each month. This is the 10th cohort since the 2014-2015 school year.

“The leadership of ‘ideal’ students on school grounds and in the community is contributing greatly to the transformation of Quitman County as residents strive to rise above circumstances and ride the mule train from poverty to prosperity,” said Dr. Hilliard Lackey, for whom the program is named. 

Dr. Lackey, a staple in the Marks community, is a lifelong educator having served in top administrative posts at Jackson State University and LeMoyne Owens College in Memphis, TN. Among his numerous credits, Dr. Lackey is a former Fulbright Scholar, a 2008 inductee into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame, and retired Brigadier General with the Mississippi State Guard. 

Lackey Scholars’ roles are to seek academic excellence while providing leadership and assistance to other students K-12.  The school system was rated F in 2014. It is now B. The high school was rated F in 2014. It is now A-Rated. 

“Capable administrative leadership and concerned teachers with missionary zeal coupled with parental support and eager to learn students form a successful matrix,” Lackey contends.  “The graduation rate is among the highest in the nation.  There is not one school age person walking the streets and roads of Quitman County who dropped out of high school over the last five years.

“Education is part of the prevailing culture! Going to college or participating in some other postsecondary career building endeavor is the norm.  Community leaders are focusing on education, healthcare, and economic development. Lackey Scholars promote the community’s focus.”

The 9th Grade Lackey Scholars for 2024-2025 are: Jale’cia McCray, Skylar Huddleston, Ja’tandria Peoples, Tha’nasia Sacks, Sundai Shegog, Jazzlyn Gordon, Calton Griffin, Ja’kyrani Smith, Aliyah Davis, Myka McGee, Sky Doyle, Zanaria Walker, and Janerio Walters.

In past years, upon graduation, scholars have achieved the highest honors including valedictorian, salutatorian, STAR Student, Mr. Palmer High, Miss Palmer High, Mr. Senior, Mr. Senior, and Student Government President. “We expect no less from the Class of 2027-28,” said Dr. Lackey.

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Lackey Scholars selected for 2024-25 school year

By Jackson Advocate News Service
June 3, 2024