Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat — Morgantown School eighth grader Brian Jackson practices Monday morning during band practice for the music he will play for the Natchez Christmas parade Saturday.
Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat — Morgantown School eighth grader Brian Jackson practices Monday morning during band practice for the music he will play for the Natchez Christmas parade Saturday.

Bright future: Morgantown student drums up math excellence

Published 12:06am Wednesday, December 4, 2013

NATCHEZ — Brian Jackson shows the same level of excitement when talking about playing the snare drum in the band as finding the slope of a line in math class.

“Math has always been the easiest subject for me, so it’s my favorite,” the eighth-grade Morgantown Middle School student said. “Other than that, band is also fun. I’m hoping to eventually get a dual degree in music and engineering so I can do both.”

Jackson, 13, was recently honored as one of two students in the middle school who scored advanced on the annual state tests and showed growth on the tests from the year before.

The Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 is given to students in grades three through eight in language arts and mathematics.

Jackson said the state tests aren’t difficult for him if he pays attention throughout the year.

“I just study what the teachers tell me to during the school year and it makes taking the test easy,” Jackson said. “If you do the work throughout the year, when test time comes, you’ll be ready.”

Jackson’s scores on last school year’s MCT 2 test earned him the title of, “district all star with special recognition.”

The designation is one many students throughout the district will be given when certain levels are reached on the state tests.

Jackson and more than 200 other students were recognized in November for reaching the milestones at an event dubbed, “Get Loud for Education,” at the middle school.

For his academic achievements, Jackson received a Natchez-Adams School District tote bag filled with cups, pencils, stickers and an award.

“I didn’t know exactly what I was getting honored for at the event, but it was fun,” Jackson said. “It felt good to be recognized.”

While most students at the event sat in the bleachers after getting their award, Jackson quickly rushed back to his place behind his snare drum and joined his fellow band mates to entertain the crowd of parents, family and friends.

Playing in the band is something Jackson said he wants to continue next year when he begins his first year at Natchez High School.

“I don’t know too much about the audition, but I know you have to sight read a piece for the first time that day, so I’ve been practicing that a lot,” Jackson said. “I’ve been practicing every day to be ready for my audition next year.”

Apart from playing in the band, Jackson said he’s also looking forward to getting to the high school so he can begin planning his future academic career.

Jackson plans on attending whatever school in the country has the best program for what he ends up deciding to study, which will likely be robotics.

“Whatever field I choose to start studying and working to get to, I want to go to whatever college best suites that field,” he said. “The last time I looked at colleges, I picked Georgia because they had a good robotics program.”

Jackson is the son of Claude and Priscilla Jackson of Natchez.