Trinity graduate looking forward to Ole Miss

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 24, 2010

NATCHEZ — Natchez has shown Emory Smith what it feels like to be a smart cookie in a little jar.

When the Trinity graduate’s parents moved her from Sarasota, Fla., to Natchez the summer before her sophomore year, she was reluctant to readjust to the small-town life.

She never pictured herself trying out for the cheer squad, for instance.

Her school in Florida, where Smith was one of 250 gifted students, did not even offer sports.

To her surprise, in addition to becoming a cheerleader, Smith was also the senior class president, homecoming queen and salutatorian of her class.

This fall, Smith will head to college at Ole Miss after earning three academic scholarships worth approximately $6,000, she said.

Smith said her natural interest in learning helps her time-manage her schoolwork, a skill she will need when balancing sorority rush, football games and her Barksdale Honors College requirements.

Smith said she plans to major in public policy. She is not sure what she wants to do when she grows up, but she likes the idea of going to law school or becoming a lobbyist, she said.

Many would expect a 17 year old with as many accomplishments as Smith to follow blind ambition, but Smith said she tends to go with the flow.

“I don’t take anything too seriously. I’m playing it by ear,” Smith said.

Smith’s mother, Sarah Smith, said school has always come naturally to her daughter.

She said Smith was always more inclined to do well in school due to her love of learning rather than striving for good grades.

And Sarah Smith said she is thankful her daughter has a well-rounded personality to accompany her 4.2 grade-point average, because moving at age 14 can be difficult.

“We were worried moving her at that age, that she would hate us forever,” Sarah Smith said.

But in addition to allowing Smith to stand out, moving to Natchez gave her more opportunities to see her grandparents and cousins, who also live in Natchez.

Smith said she loves Natchez and will miss her new hometown in the fall, but she cannot wait to head to college.