Langnes: School children are ‘our future’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2001

Newly appointed school member Craig Langnes has a simple reason for donating time and money to local school systems. &uot;It’s our future,&uot; he said. Langnes, who owns McDonald’s Restaurants of Natchez, was appointed to the Natchez-Adams School Board Monday by the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

He will replace Terry Estes, who is stepping down from the position.

&uot;I was honored to receive the appointment,&uot; Langnes said.

He and his wife, Maryann, are active in the public school system and Langnes has been impressed with the technology available in the school district.

&uot;I just feel the schools have a lot to offer that the public is not aware of,&uot; he said.

And during his career with McDonalds, Langnes said he has worked at more than 300 stores and met many young people.

&uot;I’ve gotten older, but the kids have basically stayed the same,&uot; Langnes said.

And it’s a relationship he wants to continue. &uot;I’m committed to the future with the kids,&uot; Langnes said.

In 1995, Craig and Maryann bought the McDonalds at Wal-Mart in Natchez, fulfilling Craig’s dream of owning his own restaurant.

The couple moved to Natchez in 1996 because they decided they wanted to make the South their home. &uot;They really care about their history (in the South), and they preserve it,&uot; Maryann Langnes said.

The couple now own three McDonald’s restaurants in Natchez and a fourth in Winnsboro, La.

Since moving to Natchez, the couple has also become involved in local school systems. Their business hosted a party for Holy Family Catholic School after a fire destroyed its convent; assisted in a fire safety program with the Natchez Fire Department; and has adopted West Primary School and the school bus drivers.

The business owners also provide college scholarships for their student employees based on the number of hours they work and reward their employees financially for making good grades or improving their grades.

They also will not promote employees who do not make good grades.

&uot;We believe they should concentrate on school and not work,&uot; Maryann Langnes said.

As a member of the school board, Langnes plans to draw on his experience with young people and business to benefit the school district. &uot;I think what I can offer is probably a different perspective,&uot; he said.

The couple and their children, Jason and Lisa, all graduated from the same public high school in Wisconsin.

Langnes also began his career with McDonald’s in Wisconsin as a crewman in 1967.

He later became a store manager and moved up in the company, was a business consultant in New Orleans and director of operations in Atlanta and Chicago.

The Natchez-Adams School District will hold a reception in Estes’ honor at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 8, prior to the school board’s regular meeting.

Langnes will attend his first school board meeting April 12.