For 14 years — since K-4 — Stephen Dooley has walked through Hillcrest’s halls. Everyone knows him for his country accent and his easy-going, laid back attitude about life. However, this young man is by no means lazy; he played football for the Cougars and works to maintain above-average grades, earning membership in Honor Society. Outside of school, he works even harder. Stephen is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and a member of the Order of the Arrow, having earned 43 merit badges throughout the years. He also does team roping in local rodeo competitions, helps to catch wild cattle in rough country, trains cow-dogs, and hunts and fishes. Basically, he says that he just loves doing anything outdoors.
Dooley believes his greatest strengths are his work ethic and determination, but at the same time, he is not uptight or anxious about his goals or his efforts. He realizes those attitudes can lead to unnecessary stress, and he even advises lower classmen at HCS, “Don’t kill yourself over school, but also don’t use that as an excuse not to excel in class.” One high school class in particular provided Stephen with many of his best and favorite Hillcrest memories; he remembers being entertained every day in 10th grade history by Coach Ware’s unbelievable and unbelievably funny stories.
As his high school career draws to a close, Stephen continues to set high goals for himself. First, he plans to let his favorite Bible verse, Romans 12:21, guide him throughout the rest of his life. He says that these words, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good,” remind him “not to get caught up in earthly wants, but to focus on God.” As for the future, he wants to attend Hinds Community College for 2 years and then transfer to Mississippi State in order to major in Agricultural Engineering, Technology, and Business.