Since moving to Olive Branch three years ago, Iliana has found much to like about Desoto Central. Her favorite academic subject is English currently taught by Mrs. Benson, but she developed her affinity for the course during her first two years under Mrs. Wiseman. “She teaches you while getting to know you on a personal level,” Iliana explained.
Iliana also has a lot going on outside the classroom. She is a member of two clubs on campus, the Key Club and the International Club, with the latter being her favorite, adding, “We’re studying different Hispanic and Latin American cultures. To be in it, it helps to know Spanish, because Mrs. Skinner uses Spanish in the classroom and expects you to answer in Spanish.” In this area Iliana bi-lingual ability comes in handy. Otherwise, free time is hard to come by, now that she is also keeping a part-time work schedule as a waitress at her one of her father’s restaurants. The best part of the job for Iliana is meeting the customers, but she is a little concerned about how such a hectic schedule will affect her grades.
And her grades will be especially important to her plans after high school. Iliana plans to attend either Ole Miss or the University of Memphis to study pre-law, and then go on to law school. Mom and Dad, however are somewhat reluctant to let their eldest child leave the nest and are leaning to The U of M in order to keep her close to home. “I don’t have a problem with that,” Iliana added. “…both of those schools have a law school.” Why does she want to be a lawyer? “It’s the arguing part, I guess,” she explained. “Sometimes when we have class discussions, I just find myself involved in it, and I think that I can get involved in other discussions. My mom says that when I set my mind to it, I can get what I want.” Having four other siblings to compete with, one can see the necessity for that skill.
She hopes to be able to continue to play the flute and march throughout her time at college because of the pleasure it has brought to her life so far. She takes great satisfaction from the improvements she has witnessed in the quality of The Pride. She credits winning the state championship last year with an overall improvement in the bands confidence level. Even though it will be the first year of 4A competition, Iliana thinks that they are up to the challenge and she can’t wait to prove it!