Students, family members, even teachers put on their best performances at a Black History Program at Central Middle School. The program included music, poems, skits and interpretive dance.
It was dedicated to retiring principal C.L. Luckett. He's been principal at the Gulfport school since it opened five years ago.
But, Luckett was noticeably absent from the program. That's because he's been in the hospital since December, recovering from a stroke. Acting Principal Kenny Hudson says students must have realized by now that Mr. Luckett is really, really sick, or he would have been back by now.
The staff decided to go ahead with the program because their beloved principal would have wanted it that way. Assistant Principal Lydia Leggett says everyone feels like family at Central Middle School. She says they are doing exactly what Mr. Luckett wants them to do. They are making school run smoothly. Secretary Patrice Lombard says they had to go on with the show, because they wanted to show Mr. Luckett how much he's missed and how much he's loved.
Even though Mr. Luckett wasn't able to attend the ceremony, everyone knew he was with them in their hearts. Eighth Grader Tiara Ellis says Mr. Luckett inspired them in many ways, and they really miss him. Without him here, it feels like a piece of them is empty. Eighth Grader Leon Ben says Mr. Luckett has been the spirit for this whole school. Without him at school, it's not the same.
At the end of the program, everyone stood up and sang a song in honor of Mr. Luckett. They also wanted to show him they think he's the greatest, and to tell him how much they want to see him again before he retires in June.
The program was called "Honoring a Proud Heritage, Celebrate America, Celebrate Diversity." The school taped the event and will send the video to Mr. Luckett. He's undergoing rehabilitation at Oschner's Hospital in New Orleans.
Luckett's wife travels to New Orleans often to visit her husband. The staff at Central Middle school has held two fish fries and a dance to raise money to help pay for her travel and hotel expenses.
By: Trang Pham-Bui
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