Southampton High student steals show at school board meeting

Published 10:19 am Friday, May 15, 2015

The Southampton High School and Technical Career Center honored 17 students at Monday evening’s board meeting for their accomplishments last month at the Skills USA State Leadership and Skills Conference in Roanoke.

The group participated in more than 100 competitions against 1,300 peers in high school and college, demonstrating their skill in the areas of construction, hospitality and human services. Some of the events were live competitions in which the students were asked to perform tasks and be judged on specific job-related criteria.

The students, led by instructors Cindy Jackson, Rita Yeary and Tommie Hagans, won awards categories such as cosmetology, scrapbook and essay. Kierra Crocker won bronze in cosmetology and opening and closing ceremonies; Joseph Fox won gold in chapter scrapbook; Aveena Fulton won bronze in cosmetology; Sierra Johnson won bronze in early childhood education and occupational scrapbook; Calli Joyner won silver in cosmetology and gold in chapter display; Emily Kilburn won silver in cosmetology and bronze in opening and closing ceremonies; Ivy Lasiter won silver in both cosmetology and essay; Alyssia Parker won silver in cosmetology; Alex Pulley won gold in chapter scrapbook; Alexis Sykes won bronze in cosmetology; Leighanne Teel won silver in early childhood education and occupational scrapbook; Marena Vick won silver in cosmetology; and Abbagail Widmeyer, Cherise Daden, Michael Justus, Jasmine Davis and Cedric Everett won bronze in opening and closing ceremonies. Kilburn was also named a State Officer.

Following the recognition, chapter president Calli Joyner brought her instructors to tears with an impromptu speech.

“Tonight, I would like to recognize some individuals who are a crucial part to our organization,” Joyner said as she presented Superintendent Dr. Alvera J. Parrish, Principal Allene Atkinson and Technical Education Supervisor Linda Adams with a Skills USA pin. “It has truly been an educational and once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Holding back tears, Joyner thanked Atkinson and Parrish on a more personal note.

“You have made a wonderful role model because of your professionalism and never-ending smile,” she said as she handed Atkinson a rose bush. “You can plant it, water it and watch it grow, just as you have done for me and your other Southampton children over the years. You have planted us, nurtured us and this is why we will go into the world and succeed.

“And to Dr. Parrish, I would like to thank you for making my four years here the best because of the leadership you have shown. When I leave this school, I will say that I am proud to be a Southampton High School graduate. I will go and out and succeed in this world because of you.”

At a loss for words, Parrish said that Joyner’s speech is what teaching is all about.

“To touch the life of a child is to touch the future,” Parrish said. “We want to make the impression on your life that you’ll always want to come back to Southampton and see this as the place that gave you a great beginning.”