Jesse Bingham, Valedictorian of the Class of 2014, took the title of first runner-up at the Miss Mississippi College Pageant in February of this year. After putting in a great deal of hard work to become Miss MC, she was disappointed in coming so close to achieving her goal; but when the pageant’s winner made the decision to transfer to another university, Jesse inherited the title of reigning Miss Mississippi College 2017.
During her time as Miss MC, Jesse will be a university ambassador; she has served as a Welcome Week student leader, plays a visible role and greets fans at all Choctaws football games, and she recently rode in the college’s Homecoming Parade, among other duties.
Congratulations on your accomplishment, Jesse!
Congratulations to Class of 2017 graduate and “Spirit of HCS” award winner Alana Price! The freshman history and education major has been accepted into an honors class for social and behavioral sciences at Holmes Community College.
In her social media post about this impressive achievement, Alana stated, “They only take 30 people!!! #thanksHCS.” We were happy to be part of your educational experience, Alana, and we love our Cougar alumni!
Meredith Parker, a graduate of the Class of 2013, was one of Hillcrest’s most active students during her 14 years as a Cougar, trying her hand (and succeeding) at seemingly every activity offered. Not only was she in the top 5 percent of her class academically, Meredith was a cheerleader, a member of the Envirothon and Quiz Bowl teams, a Student Council officer, President of both Honor Society and the Student Body, a participant in Youth Legislature, and more. Her achievements were recognized and rewarded during her senior year when she was elected as Most Likely to Succeed by her peers, selected as Hillcrest’s recipient of the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, AND chosen by the faculty and administration to be a member of the Hillcrest Hall of Fame. These accomplishments led to her receiving a scholarship to Ole Miss, where she graduated Cum Laude this past May with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and English.
During her time in college, Meredith worked as a reporter and producer at NewsWatch Ole Miss, and wrote for both the Meek School Magazine and the Daily Mississippian. She also interned at the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, with HLN’s Weekend Express. Parker may be most recognizable, however, as one of the newest faces to join 16 WAPT News, where she is a morning and weekend reporter covering Jackson and Central Mississippi.
The message Meredith has for current HCS students is a quote which she says has stuck with her “for a while now: ‘You can grow up to be anything, so grow up to be happy and kind.'”
With the exception of a short span of time when she was in 2nd -grade and another year-and-a-half when she lived in Kentucky during her junior high years, Cheryl Gladney attended Hillcrest from 1st grade throughout her senior year of high school. Before her graduation in 1989, she was a member of the Beta Club, yearbook staff, band and flag corp, as well as the drill team. She then attended Mississippi College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1993. Afterward, she went to the University of Mississippi Medical Center and received her MD degree in 1997, then completed residency in 2000, specializing in internal medicine. Dr. Gladney worked for Premier Medical Group from 2000 until 2011 and then began working at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven, where she has been employed as a hospitalist for the past 17 years. She calls her career choice “very rewarding.”
Cheryl married David Kirk in 2001, and she has 2 step-children. She also is an avid outdoorswoman who loves to hunt and fish.
The message Dr. Gladney wants to relay to current HCS students is as follows: “Keep an eye on your goals, and keep God in your heart. He will help you achieve whatever you set your mind to. And always be kind to your fellow man. Also, another word… Always treasure the friendships that you make during high school because those friends will be with you throughout your lifetime.”
Leland Chow attended Hillcrest from first grade until his graduation in 1993. He then attended the University of Southern Mississippi, graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Chow began his law enforcement career in the Flowood and Madison Police Departments; he spent 18 years working between the two and was a shift supervisor in Madison during his last 8 years there. Currently, Chow works with the Mississippi Gaming Commission, starting as an Investigator/Agent Gaming Regulator. His duties included performing background checks and due diligence on casino employees at the management-levels all the way up to CEOs. Promoted in January to Special Agent in the Enforcement Division, Chow now supervises 6 agents; they cover the Vicksburg District Casinos which includes the cities of Greenville, Vicksburg, and Natchez. Their job is to ensure that casinos are following the regulations set by the state.
Chow wishes to relay the following pieces of advice to current HCS students: “Go and get your college degree!! Try not to take a break from school after graduating from high school. Set your goals short term and long term. Be kind and respect everyone, because one day that person may be your boss, and people will know people and they will not forget! I know college isn’t for everyone; however, that little piece of paper can and will do wonders for you in the long run. A degree will give you the edge over others without it, especially when a promotion comes along and especially those management /director positions.”