With much pomp, circumstance and practice, Northport students gave local hero, Attorney Willie Gary a welcome fit for a “Giant Killer!” Cheerleaders, flags, Northport band and student ambassadors led Attorney Gary to the school gymnasium to be seated on the dias along with Saint Lucie County School Board chairwoman Dr. Donna Mills, principal Glenn Rustay, program coordinator Diane Reynolds Crumpton, program emcee DeLacy Brown, and student speakers.
After a beautifully orchestrated Northport jazz band performance and cheer, student speakers gave examples of the accomplishments of famous Black Americans. Attorney Willie Gary, guest speaker, held the middle grades students in the palm of his hand speaking about his upbringing and his accomplishments. He spoke about his belief that God has been the master of his path and Mr. Gary also gave high accolades to his wife, Gloria, for the unwavering support throughout his stellar career as a uniquely successful attorney.
Attorney Gary gave concrete examples to students about how he pulled himself up by his boot straps and did not depend on anyone to give him any handouts or any expectations of entitlement. He told students about getting on a bus on a Sunday afternoon on US 1 and riding to Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina with no money and no letter of acceptance. He vowed to the students that he would look at the Northport VPK-8 grade and if he saw improvement, he would take them all out to lunch.
He spoke gravely and solemnly about the strength of the people, black and white who paved the way for students of today and urged students to get involved in their own lives. Attorney Willie Gary is an exceptional man and a masterful speaker. If only we could clone Attorney Willie Gary and bring our students many, many more strong male role models what an amazing amount of work could be accomplished. Kudos to Diane Crumpton for her programming efforts and to the children of Northport VPK-8 School for bringing their best attitudes to school not only for Attorney Willie Gary, but every day.