About Us‎ > ‎District News‎ > ‎

Student News Ambassadors share talents of fellow students

posted May 21, 2018, 5:38 PM by Cheryl Shuffler   [ updated May 22, 2018, 2:16 PM ]

Student musicians release records

By Student News Ambassadors Triniti Bryant and Robin Heeralall


Josh Belton, a senior at Draughn High School, and Beth LeCroy, a junior at Patton High School, have both recently released their music for others to hear and enjoy.


Both started singing at a young age and got their start in church.


Josh, who released his second official album earlier this month, said “I’ve always loved to sing. I grew up singing in church and decided to start writing music.”


At first he wasn’t sure what type of music he wanted to write, but he says listening to artist such as Lecrae, introduced him to Christian rap. He feels this style of music fits what he wants to do and what he wants his life to represent.


Josh’s first official album, “Written in Stone,” was released in May 2017. In that album he sings about how he doesn’t want to change and mold into what the world wants people in our society to be like. He, instead, wants to be “written in stone.”


As for this latest title, “The Reflections of an Encased Heart,” it and the music represent unfiltered emotions. Unlike other mixtapes, Josh said, “It isn’t highly edited tracks with catchy hooks. The whole concept behind the album is me unveiling some things I have been struggling with that I hide.”


Josh said he wants to show people that even Christians struggle with everyday life problems. He wants people, no matter their faith, to be able to relate to his word. “We are all humans, and we all have struggles,” he said.


The mixtape is 21 tracks, but it's not all just songs. He included several skits and intros to show what this album was about. One intro he points out is the track “Heaven on Earth.” He talks about how people often use that phrase incorrectly.


Josh plans to continue making music for as long as he is able, and he hopes to reach a lot of people through Christian rap.


He taught himself how to record music using an audio software and a USB microphone.


Beth’s EP (extended play record) “Gotta Go” was released in February.


Beth said, “I have been singing for as long as I can remember at church choir and just at home. I began taking guitar lessons in fourth grade and began writing in seventh grade.”


Her inspiration for singing comes from various places. Her family has been supportive of her music, and she thanks them for that. Another inspiration she has for her music is her guitar teacher. Beth said, “My guitar teacher really encouraged me to start writing my own music and really helped develop my style.”


The EP consists of six songs that LeCroy wrote herself and features the songs “Morganton,” “Idea of Love,” and various others.


She said, “I would say my EP was influenced by many different artists and styles. I truly love all genres of music. Pop, country, singer/songwriter, alternative and folk just to name a few.”


The six songs were narrowed down from 15 songs she wrote. The writing of these songs has been a process. She said, “Some of them I wrote two years ago, and some I wrote a few months ago. I have been working on recording the songs for a year.”


Beth said her personal favorite off of “Gotta Go” is “You and Me”


She said, “I’m not interested in pursuing a music career, just doing it for a fun hobby. I hope to keep it up in the future and continue writing.”


Listen to Beth’s EP here https://bethlecroy.hearnow.com/

Listen to Reflections Of An Encased Heart Mixtape on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwy8X5cgA4RcfVguXlB3YD6I8rNvRe-9E

Reflections Of An Encased Heart Datpiff link: http://piff.me/15b24d5

Select songs from Reflections Of An Encased Heart on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/livingproofjdb13/sets/select-songs-from-reflections


Written In Stone datpiff link: http://piff.me/bd90ba0

Written In Stone youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwy8X5cgA4Re9sSsPWXTMyChvA6bxUnJn

Select Songs from Written In Stone on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/livingproofjdb13/sets/select-songs-from-written-in

From Wildcat twirler to Mountaineer twirler, DHS’s student follows childhood dream

By Student News Ambassador Triniti Bryant


At the age of 5, Carrie Cook decided that twirling a baton was more fun than daycare. Now, the Draughn High School senior has decided to continue her childhood passion in college in the fall and twirl for the Appalachian State University Marching Mountaineers during football games and parades.


Carrie said it is a dream for her to attend ASU and twirl. “My baton coaches have had twirlers go there and twirl for over 30 years now,” she said, adding she is excited to get to carry on the legacy and follow in the steps of her role models. She also is following in the footsteps of her parents who are both ASU grads and took her to ASU football games while growing up. “I’ve always just loved App,” she said. Carrie also likes the school for its campus lifestyle and classroom sizes as she says they are the perfect fit for her.


Friend and former ASU twirler Crysta Hollifield gave Carrie advice on getting on the twirling team and put her in contact with the school’s band director and color guard instructor. In-person auditions fell on the same day as prom day for Carrie, but she was able to submit a video of her twirling. Carrie said, “I had practiced for months, and I finally got together with my coach and filmed a video.”


The school got back to her a week later to let her know that she would be twirling for the Marching Mountaineers next year.

Early graduate enjoys taming horses


Sarah Houston, a Draughn High School 2018 early graduate, celebrated National Help a Horse Day last month by doing something she loves, helping horses. Sarah has been riding horses since she was 7 and is a part of LambFarm Horses Group, which is a group of people who help tame mustangs. Over the years, Sarah has helped countless horses, but the one that stands out the most is her 8-year-old American Mustang, Nala.


Sarah said of Nala, “She’s always been a naturally nervous horse.” Sarah added that Nala was hard to ride because of her jumpy nature. In order for anyone to be able to ride her, she had to be trained. Sarah has been working with her for close to a year now. She has been training her and desensitizing her, meaning she is helping her get over her fear of scary objects.


After almost a year’s worth of training Sarah says, “Nala is a very calm horse now and can be ridden by almost anyone.”

Hope Ramsey on to Lees-McRae

By Student News Ambassador Triniti Bryant

Hope Ramsey, A DHS senior, has been playing basketball since the age of 3. In 7th grade she began playing for the Burke Jammers, her freshman year of high school she played varsity at West Lincoln, her sophomore year she played varsity for the Lady Cavs at East Burke and finally she found her home at Draughn where she played her junior and senior year. This past summer Hope decided she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Heather Ramsey and play in college. Heather played for the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. Hope signed with the Lees-McRae Bobcats on April 13.

Hope started her journey last summer when she worked with her cousin Jerome Ramsey, the head basketball coach at East Burke. “He helped me with workouts, running stadiums and shooting on the machine everyday,” Hope said. She stayed after most practices and did an extra workout that consisted of a mixture of spirits and shooting.   

Hope said the recruitment process was a lot of work. She went to several elite camps to show her talent hoping to be invited back for a tour. Her first school to do this was Lincoln Memorial University, but she got looked at by Lees-McRae by emailing the coach and going on a visit. The Bobcats assistant coach, Jaterra Hurst, came to Draughn's annual Christmas tournament to watch Hope play.

Hope says she chose Lees-McRae because they seemed very interested in her. She said, “I love the coach; he’s a great coach and a great person. He’s always positive and I appreciate that.”

There is no doubt about it that Hope will enjoy playing for coach Keith Jennings for the next four years.

Hope met her teammates recently at LMC’s elite camp.

This Young Artist Turns Dots Into Magnificent Portraits

By Student News Ambassador Triniti Bryant

Corey Willis is a 16-year-old student at Jimmy C. Draughn High School who turns simple dots into extravagant and unique works of art.

At the age of 14, Corey realized that art was his passion. “My inspiration didn't come from some magical realization of a purpose or anything like that. One day I decided that I wanted to be able to make things that I thought were cool, and that's what I did,” said Willis in reference to why he began his artwork.

Corey has many different muses for his works of art, but all have something in common -- they are the people that he loves. Over the years many artist have used their lovers as their muse for their works. Picasso, for example, used the six most important women in his life as his muses throughout his life's work. Corey, on the other hand, uses not only his romantic love but his love of friends, music, musicians, and books as well.

“I personally enjoy doing stippling portraits of different people. The ability to recreate the emotion I see in others and the challenge of creating something as well know yet remarkably unique as a person's face is why I do what I do,” Corey said. Corey has created portraits of his girlfriend Katie Habetler. As well as portraits of his favorite musicians, Willie Nelson and Elton John, and many other loves of his in the form of stippling. Stippling is the use of dots or small touches to create a bigger picture. Corey’s works are very unique and original, so it only makes sense that he would use an art form that is just as unique.

Corey does plan on attending college to get a degree in fine arts. He believes this will help give him a boost toward becoming a famous artist.




Shaedyn Housh continues volleyball dreams

By Student News Ambassador Triniti Bryant

This year after her final volleyball season, senior Shaedyn Housh decided she wasn’t ready to end her volleyball career. She sat down with her coach and decided the best way to get involved in the recruitment process.  She looked at several colleges, but after a long process she finally decided on a school that was perfect for her. On March 16, Shaedyn signed with the Sandhills Flyers.

Shaedyn began her volleyball career in eighth grade at Greater Beckley Christian School. Greater Beckley is a K-12th grade school in West Virginia. Her first season playing she broke her foot and was out of the rest of the season. Then she moved on to the high school level, still at the same school. She made the team and immedaly broke her ankle. Finally, her sophomore year she played a full season and was transferring between JV and varsity.

Shaedyn decided to play in college for several reasons. First she says she loved the sport too much to give it up. Another reasons he decided to play was because of her junior year coach,  Anna Hilton. Shaedyn said, “She just inspired me.” Ann come from a place like Shaedyn. Deciding to play last minute and having to go through a quick recruitment process. Anna started in a place where she was overlooked and ended up being a very well know All-American. “Everyday she would come in an hour early to practice and would stay an hour after if I asked her,” Shaedyn said. Her last reason she decided to play was because of the great memories she made with the girls at Draughn.

Shaedyn found very quickly that getting recruited was a long process. Shaedyn found help though her head volleyball coach, Chris Treadway. Shaedyn said, “Coach Treadway did a lot of the groundwork for me and I’m very thankful for that.” Shaedyn felt like the hardest part for her was the decision.

Out of all the bigger colleges she had looking at her or offering her, she chose the smallest one. She had a few variables weighing in on her choice. First Shaedyn mentions her coach. She said, “Coach Riggins is amazing, from the first time I met her I just knew I wanted her to be my coach.” Shadyn loved Riggins’ personality and her techniques. Her second reason was the feeling of family. The day of her tour she walked into the locker room and saw something different from all her other tours. The team had decorated the board and wrote, “Welcome, Shaedyn, to Sandhills.” She really liked that the school was making it about her and not just her athletic abilities.

Shaedyn is excited to begin her open gyms this summer on May 21.