By ANGIE CARNATHAN
Born in Jackson, Lindsey Smith Wiseman probably seemed like a typical student at Jackson Academy in 2002. It was prom time, and several of Lindsey’s classmates were checked out of school by their parents to get their hair and nails done for the big night. The principal caught wind of this and called in the girls one by one. Lindsey was on the list to be checked out as well, so when the principal called her in, she had every full intention of telling him her true plans.
“I was lacking two hours of training to take the test for my black belt in Tae Kwon Do,” she said.
It wasn’t a joke.
“So sure enough, he approved, and I got my training hours in,” she said.
Wiseman has a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. But that’s not the only thing about this first lady of Starkville that might surprise you — she can recite Pi from memory.
“It was just something we did for fun,” she said, referring to her fellow Mu Alpha Theta members she competed with at the Mississippi School of Math and Science.
“We were really cheesy about competing; we really played it up,” she said. “We even wore silly glasses to the competitions.”
It wasn’t all fun and games, though, Wiseman took her favorite subject seriously and excelled at it.
“My favorite award I’ve received was the AP Calculus award in high school,” she said. “I think I probably still have the little pin.”
Wiseman attended Mississippi College in the fall of 2002.
“Probably the real reason I chose MC was that its a Christian university,” she said. “I also wanted to continue being a cheerleader like I was in high school, and it was one of those things where being (in) Division 3, I could participate in a sport and still have time for school.”
Wiseman majored in accounting and also studied German and French. During her senior year she was president of Laguna Tribe, secretary of the Student Government Association and a cheerleader. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from MC and received the Perry Medal in accounting.
Unsure of her post-college plans, Wiseman elected to take the LSAT as a back-up plan. She scored well enough to be accepted into both schools to which she applied.
“I applied to Ole Miss and MC, and ended up going to Ole Miss because I was ready for a change,” she said. “I had lived in the Jackson area my whole life and was ready for something new.”
Wiseman admits the transition from accounting to law wasn’t always easy.
“In law school, everything is gray and you can always argue both sides — in fact you’re supposed to argue both sides,” she said, “so that was hard for me to come from accounting and adjust to not having one correct answer.”
She said she loved law school and enjoyed being surrounded by other perfectionists.
“It was fun. Everybody was Type A like me,” she said.
Ole Miss Law School is where she met her husband, Parker. Incidentally, her parents met in the same place decades earlier.
She and Parker got to know each other through their mutual involvement in Law School Student Body.
“We were friends my first year of law school — his second year — and then I started doing LSSB,” she said. “We started talking on the phone, first about LSSB, but then he asked me out.”
Fortunately for the Mayor, he’s a pretty determined guy.
“The first time he asked me out I said no,” she said, laughing. “He was just such a good friend and I wasn’t going to risk it. But then he asked me out two or three times after that, and finally I said yes.”
And the rest is history.
“We dated for six months and then he proposed,” she said. “He didn’t have to ask more than once this time.”
The couple was married in August of 2008 and made the move to Starkville.
“Starkville was new for me, and I was really excited to live here,” she said. “Being in a college town, there’s an excitement in the air, but I also like how laid back Starkville is and how welcoming it is.”
When deciding where she and Parker should settle down first, Wiseman said she knew right away she wanted to be in the middle of the action in Starkville.
“I just love to be around people,” she said. “It didn’t matter to me if we were surrounded by strangers as long as we were surrounded by people and noise and activity.”
The couple chose the center apartment on the top floor above Bin 612 — the heart of the Cotton District.
“We lived there our first year of marriage, and I just loved it,” she said. “You could walk anywhere and you’re just right in the middle of everything.”
Wiseman’s love of people and activity proved beneficial for making friends in her new hometown.
“I really started to get to know people in Starkville by getting involved in different organizations,” she said. “I joined the Pilot Club, which I really enjoy. It helped me meet lots of wonderful and very civic-minded women.”
She is especially proud to have been involved with the Music Trail at McKee Park, which features outdoor musical instruments for children with disabilities.
“Jorja Turnipseed, Ellen Boles, Bonnie Carew and Ellen Goodman of Pilot Club worked in conjunction with Matthew Rye of Parks and Recreation; Pete Melby and the Mississippi State University landscape architectural students; and the Junior Auxiliary Crown Club in fundraising, design, and installation of the trail,” she said.
Wiseman was also part of the Newcomers Club until she started working. The club meets during the day.
“I would go bowling with those women and I loved that, although I broke a few fingernails,” she said.
In addition to Starkville Young Professionals, which she attends with Parker, Wiseman is also working on her membership for the Daughters of the American Revolution and just finished her first year with the Junior Auxiliary.
“These are all great ways to meet people,” she said. “I’ve built some of the dearest friendships through these organizations.”
Wiseman’s love affair with Starkville extends beyond her call to civic duty, however. She is a huge fan of the arts, albeit for an odd reason.
“I love music, theatre (and) all types of arts partly because I have no talent for any of it,” she said. “Scores of highly esteemed professionals contribute much time, money and effort to add to the fantastic quality of life that is Starkville.”
When Wiseman is not working full-time for the Brunini Law Firm in Columbus or attending one of many club meetings, she enjoys reading, watching the Food Network with her husband, planting sunflowers around her house, playing tennis, shopping for antiques and sewing.
“I sew a lot of skirts because they’re the easiest thing to make,” she said.
Of the things she counts most precious in her life, however, there is a definite first choice.
“Of utmost importance to Parker and me — which leads to our commitment to serving our community — is faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” she said. “One of our favorite means of civic involvement is visiting local churches.”
Wiseman said her love of God and her life in Starkville is made even stronger by her love for her husband.
“We just celebrated our third wedding anniversary, and we thank God every day for this humbling opportunity for service,” she said. “I am so proud of Parker and his daily endeavors toward moving Starkville forward through prayer, diligence and optimism. We are overjoyed by all that is happening here and just want to contribute our little piece of the pie in the effort to make this special place even better.”