Full Circle

I was a very active high school student. I cheered, participated in clubs, was voted most popular and best all-around, and crowned homecoming queen. Looking back, I realize that it was my time running track under the leadership of track coaches Carl Middleton and Charlie Smith that provided me with some of my most important life lessons. My coaches taught me the value of proper form, conditioning, and perseverance. They also doubled as father figures to me and many others, and continue to serve in that role to this day.

These two men pushed me to be a better athlete, and a better person. They taught me I could run farther and faster if I just let myself, and stressed that the more effort I invested, the greater my success. They loved winning as much as anyone, but they emphasized that there is so much to relish in life. They taught me that being a gracious loser is as important as being a good winner. Their guidance on and off the track have helped me navigate life, and I’m forever grateful for the time and commitment they made to me and my classmates.

Recently, I had the opportunity to reciprocate Coach Middleton’s kindness when I helped his grandson Bahari Hall find an internship. Bahari, a bright Georgia Southern student who will graduate in May, is interested in politics and the law. He has become an ardent supporter in my campaign for Superior Court Judge. Coach Middleton took time with me when I was a young person. Now, I have the privilege to assist his grandson. We’ve come full circle.

In 2005 I was inducted into the A. E. Beach High School Athletic Hall of Fame for track. I credit this honor to Coaches Middleton and Smith. On May 24, 2022, I will become Chatham County’s next Superior Court Judge. Coaches Middleton and Smith have a role in that achievement as well. Thanks Coaches!