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Champion for Students

MPB Student Council.jpg

Lanier's very own Kayla Latiker, selected inaugural member of the MPB Student Council.

Kayla Latiker

11th Grade, Lanier High School

Kayla Latiker is a cheerleader for Lanier High School and a member of the Red Door Mentorship program. She enjoys reading, being an activist for her community, and uplifting classmates.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting Student Council members were asked what they have learned so far about MPB. 

"I learned that Mississippi Public Broadcasting is an educational program not only for television but for radio, podcasting, and much more. The MPB Student Council gives teens like me from all over the world an opportunity to be heard, express their opinions, and give us access to younger children's programs and behind the scenes of MPB."

Kayla Latiker.jpg
Mark Drone.jpg


There hasn’t been a scoring machine at Lanier High like this since Monta Ellis won National Player of the Year and was an NBA draft pick out of high school in 2005.


Mark Drone is his name and scoring is his game. He is averaging 28.9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. He’s shooting 58 percent from the field and 83 percent from the line. Jackson State has offered, and Lanier Boys Basketball Coach Lawrence Clark expects many more Division I schools to follow soon.

“Mark is like (former NBA scoring star) Allen Iverson without the flair,” said, Clark who was named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Coach of the Year after leading Lanier to the 4A state title last season. “He’s so quiet and humble and he comes from a good household. Mark has qualified and is going to make someone a great college player. He’s so efficient and gets to the rim so effortlessly. Mark has a great midrange game, can also shoot the 3 and get the rim with ease. Mark isn’t the kind of player who is going to take 40 shots, he’s unselfish and is a great passer. He has made a seamless transition to Lanier and our team and makes his teammates better. Mark is playing an off guard for us but is also an excellent point guard.”

Drone is the brother of former Callaway All-State guard Deville Smith, who averaged 22.2 points as a senior and was ranked No. 14 among guards in the nation by ESPN in 2011. Smith went on to play one season each at Mississippi State, Nevada Las Vegas, and Tennessee-Martin.

If Drone can keep this pace, he would be the third highest scorer in Jackson Public Schools since Ellis, who is considered one of the greatest players in Mississippi history. Drone had 42 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds in an 85-78 victory over Callaway in the game which Ellis’ high school jersey was retired.

He had 30 points and was named the MVP in a 71-53 victory over Madison Central in the Mississippi Hoops Challenge Thanksgiving Showcase at Tougaloo College.

“Like all the great players, people are coming to watch Mark play,” Clark said. “We’ve had sellout crowds. I’m expecting sellouts at our home games Tuesday against Jim Hill and Friday against Murrah.”


Lanier High School (Jackson Public School District) with Lanier High School National Alumni Association (LHSNAA). Funding, supporting, and providing resources for academic success and college readiness.

Lanier High School National Alumni Association (LHSNAA) was created by a group of Lanier High School graduates committed to the academic excellence of the next generation. The non-profit organization was established to support Lanier High School students and parents' academic, social, and economic needs. Their partnership project is divided into three categories: Academic/College Readiness, Service/Family Engagement, and Extracurricular Activities. Some of the projects include the establishment of a scholarship fund to offset costs encountered when students transition from high school to a post-graduation route; Bulldog License Plate Program as an ongoing funding source;  Bulldog Clothes Closet for students; transportation for students to tour Hinds Community College; support for students who need preparation for the ACT; incentives and rewards for teachers and staff; test monitoring; funding to assist sports teams and the choir with uniforms; assist the Health Academy scholars with scrubs and lab coats; and annual cleanup event for students and alumni to collaborate to beautify the campus and surrounding neighborhood. In order to implement their projects, the Lanier Alumni partnered with numerous community organizations and businesses.

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