As a junior last year, Maci Jackson ’18 walked across the Dunham football field on her father’s arm without a hint of nerves, then stood smiling and calmly awaiting the announcement of the 2016 Homecoming Queen. This year, it was a different story.
“This year on the field, I was so nervous. It was such a bigger deal this time,” said Maci, Dunham’s 2017 Homecoming Queen. Convinced that one of her senior classmates would receive the crown, she zoned out as the stadium announcer prepared to call the name of the new queen. “I froze. It took me a second to realize that they had called my name,” Maci said, smiling. The rest is blur of images — her dad’s reassuring words, the big smile on best friend Madeline Johnson’s face, 2016 Queen Summer Whittington ’17 putting the crown on her head, a hug from Head of School Steve Eagleton, being swarmed by her fellow cheerleaders, more hugs and photos, lots of photos.
Joining Maci as senior maids were Kelsey Day, Lily Erwin, Madeline Johnson and Ryleigh Thibodeaux. “I loved being on the court this year with these girls, especially with some of my closest friends. I am so proud to represent my grade,” said Maci, who also serves as senior class president and a varsity cheerleader.
Another sweet memory of the evening was seeing her mom Darla, who was Homecoming Queen at Christian Life as a senior, after the presentation. “It was cool to carry on my mom’s legacy to the next generation, to represent her,” Maci said.
Being elected as Dunham’s Homecoming Queen was particularly sweet for Maci who has been at the school since second grade. After hitting rough spot during her junior year, Maci decided to do whatever needed to be done to get back on the right track.
“I am confident in who I am now, I don’t need to act or be like someone else. I wanted to make my classmates proud,” Maci said, “I worked so hard to get to this point. What God has done in my life, what he has used, is so awesome. He gave me the courage to turn my life around in the right direction.”
Faculty mentors like Karen Haynes and Sharon Towry have left an indelible mark on Maci’s life. “The teachers are so genuine, authentic, role models. They treat us as their own kids. They pray. Any time you need them, they are available,” Maci said.
When she’s not at school, Maci enjoys being with her family, going to LSU games, summer camp at Pine Cove and deer hunting. She plans to attend LSU next fall, staying close to home and family while continuing the long family Tiger legacy.