Students enjoying time at School for Math and Science

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Natchez is well-represented at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. Of the 127 making up the school’s senior class, three hail from the Miss-Lou: Shawanda Nelson Evans, Bazile &uot;Buddy&uot; Lanneau and Arthur Thomas.

MSMS was created by the Mississippi Legislature in 1997 as a public, co-educational, residential school for 11th- and 12th-grade students.

It is located on the campus of Mississippi University for Women in Columbus.

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Both Lanneau and Nelson Evans are in their second year at the school and say they would not trade the experience for anything.

Attending MSMS has many benefits, both Lanneau and Nelson Evans said, perhaps most important of which is the prestige the school’s name carries when applying to colleges and for scholarships.

Nelson Evans plans to study pre-med chemistry and biology following graduation and has goals for a career as a pediatric oncologist.

Lanneau is undecided between pursuing a strength in mathematics or finding a career in music.

The combination does not seem unusual to Lanneau, who said the school – while it focuses on math and science – also encourages creativity in students.

Nelson Evans agreed. &uot;Most of my friends are not interested in math and science,&uot; she said.

Contrary to what some people may think, the school offers many of the same activities as a traditional high school, including sports, yearbooks and a prom.

&uot;We basically have everything but football, but we do have indoor water polo,&uot; Lanneau said, laughing.

Along with football and marching band, Nelson Evans said she also misses the comforts of home.

&uot;The only downside I can think about is I miss my friends and family,&uot; she said.

Both said they chose to attend the school because they knew it would help them prepare for college. But they’ve also learned to adjust to the college-like schedule and lifestyle, and the responsibility it brings.

&uot;One of my teachers noticed it when I can back last year. She talked about how much I had matured,&uot; Nelson Evans said.

While the school is challenging, both said their education at Trinity Episcopal Day School and Natchez High School prepared them well.

&uot;I think I had a really good background coming from the honors classes at Natchez High for Mississippi Math and Science,&uot; Nelson Evans said.

To offset the tougher assignments, Lanneau said MSMS offers a much wider variety of classes.

Other students from Natchez attending MSMS as juniors include Ajani Thomas, Holly Sawardecker, Thomas Rinaldi, Samuel Malone and Jason Hutchins.

Nelson Evans is the daughter of Larry Evans and Jessie Claiborne, both of Natchez. Lanneau is the son of Bazile and Jeannie Lanneau, also of Natchez.