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Columbus High showcases 'champion' spirit

 

Garthia Elena Burnett

 

Columbus High introduced the community, last night, to the talents of its students and the vast array of programs offered at the school. 

 

And community members attending the inaugural Falcon Showcase were pleasantly surprised. 

 

"It was very, very inspiring," said Columbus City Councilman Joseph Mickens, one of several elected officials at the event. "I think we''ve got off to a great start. I hope that the people here can go out into the community and promote Columbus High." 

 

"I thought it was wonderful," said Bruff Sanders of Cadence Bank. 

 

Neither Sanders nor his wife, Melanie, knew the school had so many ways for students to exercise their interests. 

 

"I was amazed," said Melanie Sanders, associate dean of instruction for East Mississippi Community College. "This is a great way to showcase all the students'' talents and the activities available for them." 

 

Entertainment for the evening included select Falcon band members playing while dinner was presented; Youth for Christ performing interpretative dance to "Son of Man;" Frontline show choir singing and dancing to "Eye of the Tiger;" and gospel show choir singing "Jesus Promised." 

 

Students were proud to showcase their programs and talents, tying together a theme of being champions. 

 

"We are a school of champions," said senior Rachel Stanbeck, noting that championship attitude extends from academics and extracurricular activities to the athletic fields and in their everyday lives. 

 

Stanbeck''s fellow International Baccalaureate classmates Meriweather Bean and Hagan Walker toted the program as challenging and fulfilling. 

 

"It''s really challenged me to think of things in new and creative ways," said Bean. 

 

"The accreditation received from IB is the most prestigious program in the world," said Walker, adding it focuses on "making students thinkers." 

 

Landon Williams, who is involved in the school''s visual arts programs, as well as the newspaper and yearbook staffs, said "Our student journalists are writing champions." 

 

Students offered courtesy copies of The Falcon Flyer school newspaper. 

 

"We are a team of athletic, community and parent champions," said Hunter Mullis, a member of the Columbus High baseball team. Mullis noted the team has raised about $5,000 toward building an indoor baseball facility. 

 

"Being a champion is not a sometimes thing. It''s an all-the-time thing," said Tyson Lee, a 2006 Columbus High graduate, who was starting quarterback for Mississippi State before completing his secondary education degree in 2010. Lee said he learned that championship mentality at Columbus High. His brother, Trace Lee, a CHS student, introduced him. 

 

Scott Colom, attorney and 2001 graduate of Columbus High, also spoke at the event. 

 

"We need to promote the positive because what people know impacts what they know and say," said Colom, noting "the psychology of a city matters." 

 

McKellar culinary students were featured throughout the night. The students prepared a dinner of carved-on-site roast beef or ham, roasted potatoes and snap peas. A trio of layer cakes was offered for dessert. Culinary students also served and seated guests. 

 

Through ticket sales and a silent auction, which included autographed sports memorabilia, a solid oak desk and chair refinished by McKellar carpentry students, lifetime CHS athletic passes, advertising on a digital billboard, artwork by students and local artists and an alarm system, the Columbus High Parent-Teacher Organization raised about $3,500 with the event. 

 

"I thought it went really well," said Suzanne Bean, president of the PTO. 

 

"It just goes to show what our students have (offered to them at the school) and that our students have so many talents," said Gayle Fortenberry, advanced placement coordinator for CHS. "These students show that championship attitude every day."

 

 

 

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