Inaugural alumnus Shawn Mays looks back at his days at MSMS


Courtesy of Deidra Mays

(From left to right) Kierra Mays, Keia Mays, Deidra Mays and Shawn Mays

Adriana Mays, Staff Writer

MSMS has created a large community of students, teachers and alumni. Over the years, many people have expressed how MSMS has shaped their future through numerous aspects of their lives.

As a student from the inaugural MSMS class, alumnus Shawn Mays, shares some of the most valuable things MSMS taught him. 

Mays was born and raised in Macon, Mississippi, and graduated with the Class of 1990. Reflecting on his motives for applying, Mays thinks back to his best friend. 

“What motivated me more was the challenge. Me and [my best friend] for years had always been number one and number two in our class,” Mays said. “He found MSMS, brought it to me and asked me if I would like to go, and I was like, ‘sure.’ Thinking about the challenge of not being number one or number two but actually having to compete to be the best or one of the best was something new.”

Mays embarked on his journey at MSMS in the fall of 1988. Since then, there have been many changes within the school and its community. One of the biggest changes, according to Mays, has been the application process. 

“It has changed drastically. I don’t even remember if we did an essay. Now there is a bigger process, which is good,” Mays said. “It gives the admissions [staff] more information on the student. In a blur of time we have transitioned from the application process, to current students at MSMS, and soon enough, we will become alumni. Looking back, we will cherish the memories and opportunities MSMS has given us.”

Alumni are an example of what MSMS rewards you at the end of your journey here. MSMS is constantly preparing the students for things that are yet to come, such as college.

“When I got to MSMS, the English that was being taught there was like nothing I had ever experienced,” Mays said. “[MSMS] made college English easy, and that is the legitimate truth. If I had not had MSMS English before going to college, I would’ve struggled my first year of college.” 

Mays expresses his feelings about how MSMS has proven itself through his life experiences after graduating. Coming from a school full of nerds, he knows what it’s like to stress about this future MSMS tells us about. He shares that it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important and MSMS’ true intentions on what they have planned for you, but throughout the rest of students’ lives, it will soon become clear. Mays shares some advice to current students by telling us to just take it slow.

“Don’t lose out on your extracurricular activities,” Mays said. “Don’t get so bogged out about your school work that you forget to be a kid.” 

MSMS is constantly changing. The students, clubs, and staff are bound to come and go as time goes on. Mays’ final words as an alumnus is to take full advantage of the opportunities here at MSMS.