GSA’s performance of the ‘Messiah’ worth writing about

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, December 24, 2014

To the Editor:

As I sit back and take an occasional glance at the news or open a newspaper (local or national); crime, violence, and plain ol’ negativity are the highlights. Franklin public schools have been in the headlines on numerous occasions pointing out all of their flaws and shortcomings as a school. So please join me as I take a quick moment of your time to highlight something positive, joyful, and heartwarming.

I had the pleasure of attending the Governor’s School for the Arts program, entitled the “Messiah,” on Dec. 18 at a beautiful church in Norfolk. Of course I was a very proud aunt as my niece, Devin Koehne, graced the stage. I know how hard she works to continue to be a part of this program. As I listened very intently to the teens sing as if they were a professional adult choir; something special caught my ear. Ricky Goodwyn of Franklin — He sang a beautiful solo piece! I know nothing about Ricky except the fact he is a student at Franklin High and he is a first-year student in the program. As I sat there listening, completely impressed at his skill and ability, I thought, “Where are the news reporters? Where is the article about this talented Franklin student making a difference, not only for himself but for our community?”

This my friends, is a headline story I want to read about! I want a story praising the teachers and schools that make programs like this available to our students. Where is the article about the local people that serve on committees and boards that are spearheading the efforts of this program? There may never be a headline in regards to this performance, but I want each of you to know there are students in Southampton County and the city of Franklin that are making a difference. These students have to maintain a 3.0 GPA, complete regular course work as well as additional papers, practices and long days of school. They have goals, dreams, and a VERY bright future. The other local students that performed were Deja Ellison, Andrianna Leonard and Danyelle Nettles.

That night in Norfolk, Virginia, I was very proud to say I am a part of the Franklin/Southampton community. Congratulations to Mr. Goodwyn for practicing, auditioning and earning a lead vocal role in the “Messiah.” And hats off to his family for inspiring him to be something great and helping him achieve his goal! I truly believe God has something awesome in store for this community….let’s look for the good and help make those stories our new headlines!

Holly Ledbetter