Tag Archives: Ashley Denny

Theatre seniors rise to inspirational finale

By Megan Johnson

Senior year. The finale of a teen’s high school career. Some feel it is the last time they will ever been seen as a teenager and the first time they will be seen as an adult. However, for some teens involved in theatre, their “finale” is very literal.

Theatre seniors experienced such a finale last weekend in “Pride and Prejudice.” Within this show, some of the seniors had major roles. Other cast members like sophomore Ashley Denny said seniors displayed leadership in playing their roles.

“They’re very helpful, dedicated and hard working actors,” she said.

Denny said that senior Savannah Wormley taught her how to work hard during performances, but also enjoy herself.

Wormley shared that theatre has not always been her main priority. However, over the years it has become a major part of her life.

“Theatre is what got me to come out of my shell. I’m not exactly shy, but theatre really takes away inhibitions, you become very outgoing,” said Wormley.

Sophomore Henry Miller said his inspiration comes from not only one actor, but two: seniors Clay Gulley and Collin Jackson.

“They have taught me that theater is tough because you have a lot of competition, but a lot of people want you to succeed,” said Miller.

Jackson explained that theatre has always been a part of his life.

“I feel like it’s just a part of me. I don’t experience what I feel on stage anywhere else. I just can’t not do it,” he said.

Miller shared that he sees both of these actors as very talented and wishes to succeed as they have.

Theatre director Robbie Steiner said Gulley stood out amongst his peers as a true leader.

“He’s the thespian president and a great example of somebody who works very hard. He’s humble, he cares for his peers and makes effort to be a good role model,” said Steiner.

Steiner shared that Gulley has matured since his freshman year and has become a hard-working, poised young man.

Gulley shared that this maturity has mainly blossomed within the past year.

“The fact that I’m almost 18 and about to graduate has really given me perspective on things. To accept that you’re growing up requires some maturity, and I think some of that maturity has transcended into my performances,” said Gulley.

With all four years of experience and growth in theatre, Gulley leaves with high hopes for the up and coming leaders.

“I believe that anyone who is true to their passions, is hardworking and above all, truly respectful of others has the potential to truly be a wonderful leader. Theatre is a fire within the performer and only he can keep it ablaze.”

Additional reporting by Melanie Parrish.

Sophomore Joel Jackson shares experience in theater

By Megan Johnson

Sophomore theater student Joel Jackson takes a deep breath, running over his lines in his head a thousand times over to ensure he does not make a mistake. It’s only minutes away before he steps upon the stage to perform for hundreds of people. For most teenagers, this situation would be extremely stressful. However, for Jackson it is just another day.

Jackson has been involved in theater for approximately 12 years. He got started through watching his sister perform ballet.

“I was interested whilst watching her perform. So, I started taking the acting classes that they offered. From then on I just started working at different places and fell in love with it.”

Jackson shared that since that time, he has had the opportunity to be a part of many different shows all over the country. This includes Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Georgia and Florida.

Out of the many Jackson has participated in, he shared the most memorable.

“My top three would have to be ‘Music Man’ at the Oldham County Arts Center, ‘Aladdin’ in Atlanta, Georgia and ‘Wizard of Oz’ at Derby Dinner,” said Jackson.

Not only has acting affected Jackson’s memories, but it has inflicted upon his personality as well.

“It’s made me really confident. I’m really outgoing as well and I’m not afraid to talk to people,” said Jackson.

Jackson’s personality shines through to those around him, at least it does to one of his closest friends junior Bonnie Hopkins.

“The first time I met Joel was one day during lunch. He came up to me and said ‘Let’s go, Bonnie.’ Then we walked around the school together just talking. We’ve been best friends ever since,” said Hopkins.

Hopkins shared that she had seen only a few of Jackson’s performances, but every one she had seen was fantastic.

“He’s a phenomenal actor. He just connects so well with the audience,” said Hopkins.

Sophomore Ashley Denny shared that she believes Jackson’s acting skills are that of a professional.

“I definitely see him going places with such talent.”

Since theater has become such a major part of Jackson’s life, he plans on pursuing a career with it.

“Theater is great if it’s your passion, which for me it is. My main goal is to be on Broadway someday. But just in general, I want to be paid to do what I love.”

Jackson ended with a strong statement to sum up his love of theater,

“I cherish it.”

Students can observe Jackson in his latest performance in “Les Miserables.” The showing times are Nov. 1,2, 8 and 9th at 7:30, and Nov. 3 and 10 at 2:30.

Jackson and junior Madeline Coffey at rehearsal for Les Miserables. Photo by Rachel Lamb
Jackson and junior Madeline Coffey at rehearsal for Les Miserables. Photo by Rachel Lamb

Some student athletes seek alternatives to earning PE credits

By Sydney Sears and Megan Johnson

In order to graduate from FC,  students must take two semesters of physical education. According to the “Alternative Supervised Physical Education” section of the Floyd County Student Rights Guide, any student that partakes in a school sport or marching band class may use his or her activity as a PE class. However, this rule only applies to teens that are a part of a school-associated sport or activity. Any other outside activity does not count. Due to this circumstance, athletes such as these end up having to take gym and cannot take other classes that help further their education.

“It did affect my schedule because I couldn’t take certain classes like child development or culinary arts,” said junior Kenzie Ross.

Ross is part of an all-star dance team and had to follow the guidelines to gain PE credits. Ross stated that she felt that her hard work with the dance team should have earned her credits.

“It’s aggravating because we work hard. We practice two to three times a week for two to three hours.”

Sophomore Ashley Denny also shared her opinion regarding the  work that she puts into gymnastics.

“I work three days a week and three hours for each session. It involves a lot of cardio and strength training,” said Denny.

Many athletes who do sports outside of school, work just as much as athletes who do school sports. The only difference is that their teams are not affiliated with the school. This produces the question of why other athletes are not allowed to earn P.E. credits as well.

“I just don’t think it’s fair that other athletes are offered that and people like me aren’t.” said Denny

Denny and Ross concluded with ideas to help their situation and other students like them. Ross explained that students could provide evidence that they play a sport and spend enough time doing that sport to earn their credits

Denny agreed with Ross in that aspect.

“This problem could be resolved by having the student bring in a note from their coach, just like how FC athletes do.” said Denny.

Principal Janie Whaley shared that there actually is a possibility for an athlete that is not part of the FC athletic program to gain credit. However, these students must show their participation in their sport.

“All students receive a ‘B’ if they complete the season. There is a fitness test at the end of the semester that allows students to move from a ‘B’ to an ‘A’.”

Although this option is offered to all athletic students, there has still been a minor reduction in enrollment.

Whaley shared her final thought on both P.E. and sports in and out of school, which is essential for students to endure.

“The end result is physical fitness.”