The Eyes of MSMS

The Vision

The Eyes of MSMS

The Vision

The Eyes of MSMS

The Vision

MSMS welcomes 3 new faculty for the school year

Caleb Youngblood
Math teacher Dean Linder (left) and chemistry teacher Lisa Smith pose in Mary Wilson Garden. Linder, Smith and engineering teacher Fatimaezzahra Labaaj comprise the three new teachers joining MSMS faculty this year.

Three new teachers joined MSMS’s faculty this year: math teacher Dean Linder, engineering teacher Fatimaezzahra Labaaj and chemistry teacher Lisa Smith. 

Dean Linder

Before coming to MSMS as a full-time instructor, Linder taught at Mississippi State University, and then Columbus High School. Most recently, he taught in an accelerated algebra program between Columbus High School and MSMS, where he met Alison Alexander, a math teacher at MSMS. 

When an opportunity opened to hire a new math teacher at MSMS, Alexander said Linder should apply because he was a perfect fit, especially since he said he wanted to start teaching more advanced math.

Linder said MSMS is different from his past teaching experiences because it presents high standards in its rigorous courses for motivated students.

“[At MSMS], when [students] pass a course, [they] leave knowing the content — [they] don’t get a watered-down version,” Linder said. “The students here are very hard-working; no student has been disrespectful to me so far. When I taught in college, there was a lot of apathy. People just wanted to get through the classes and didn’t care about learning the content. But here, everyone has a goal and they’re driving toward that goal. They’re trying their best to get there, and they feel like this school was an opportunity for them.”

Lisa Smith

Smith moved to MSMS immediately after getting her doctorate from MSU. 

“The previous chemistry teacher [Charles Nettles], talked with me and told me about MSMS. That’s what brought me [to the school],” Smith said.

Smith worked as a student-teacher before coming to MSMS. Compared to her previous experience, she said the teachers and curriculum here are at a much higher level.

“Our curriculum is definitely more rigorous. We offer the same classes as other schools, but the curriculum here is more advanced,” Smith said. “All the teachers here are really qualified. In a lot of public schools, teachers often don’t have advanced degrees in their subjects, but [at MSMS] everyone has proper qualifications and knows their subject.”

The MSMS Tradition

When asked to describe MSMS in one word, Linder said, “Professional. Everything is really professional. Dr. Cook is professional. The teachers are professional. Everything is run in a clean and well-organized way.” 

Smith shared a similar sentiment and said MSMS is empowering for everyone involved with the school, especially for its students.

“This school gives students a chance to learn and advance themselves,” Smith said.

Linder said staying at MSMS provides the opportunity to work with talented and ambitious students. 

“I’m planning to stay here as long as they want me here,” Linder said. “This is a rare opportunity to interact with really talented students who want to do important things.  I want to stay here and help students do the best they can. I want to help everybody get the best chance to achieve their dreams.”

Labaaj was unavailable for an interview.

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Langston Smith, Staff Writer
Langston Smith is a junior from Cleveland. He enjoys being part of The Vision so he has actual things to write about. During his ever-shrinking free time, he likes to watch movies and drink tea from a Keurig. His only plan for the future is to not stress about it.

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