A typical conversation with Ruby Dixon in the halls of Lanier high school might go something like this: "Hey Ruby! Coming to choir practice today?"
"I am, but I'm leaving early for the basketball game֖my videotaping duties. I'll see you Saturday for Learn & Serve America!"
Whether it's singing in Lanier's superior-rated choir, videotaping a school basketball game, or dancing at a Friday night football game as a Rangerette, Dixon, 17, loves to represent her school.
"Lanier is a lot different than what people think," the senior says at the Medgar Evers Library in Jackson. Dixon says that many of her friends who don't go to Lanier share the misconception that the school is a place where students sit in class and do nothing. "We don't get to do what we wantwe have structurebut I love it. It's a lot of fun," she says. "We do just as much work as everyone else."
Dixon admits that she gets upset when she hears stereotypes about her school, but says, "I don't use talking to get my point across."
The Lanier honor student is involved in six clubs and still makes time to sing, dance and read. A member of the National Honor Society, Ruby scored a 25 on the ACT and a perfect score on her U.S. history state test. She works with Lanier principal Shemeka McClung and some of the school's teachers in the Site Base Council group, which meets to talk about how to better the school. She is also involved in Learn & Serve America, a volunteer program tied to Lanier's choir that motivates children to read and be enthusiastic about school.
Last year, Dixon tied for the No. 1 academic spot in her junior class with a 3.875 GPA.
"I always want to do better. You can never take education too seriously," Dixon says. "School is the path I have to take in order to get where I want to be in life."
With high hopes for her senior year, Dixon says she wants to get all As. She hopes to receive a full academic scholarship to attend Jackson State University. Dixon is not sure which profession she'll choose; she wants to be a psychiatrist because she likes listening to people and helping them solve their problems, but she is also interested in becoming a news broadcaster because she likes to talk. When asked what advice she'd give to upcoming high school students and underclassmen, Ruby says to just be yourself.
"Keep God first and never settle for less," she says.