Whitleys are THS oriented

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Starting baton lessons from Tammy Festavan as a fourth grader, Misty Whitley was set on her goal to become a high school majorette. Parades, competitions, lessons, practices and sheer determination led Misty to being a majorette for Thompson High School in 1988 (her freshman year).

Whitley and daughter Abby are both employees at Shelby Starlets. (Contributed)

Whitley and daughter Abby are both employees at Shelby Starlets. (Contributed)

There were eight majorettes at that time under the direction of Elson Hood. In 1989-90, she was the head Majorette.

“Going to summer baton camps at the University of Montevallo and the University of Alabama are great memories,” she said. “Being part of a team is so important because it teaches you lessons you will use for the rest of your life such as cooperation, dedication, discipline, patience and endurance.”

An Alabaster resident all her life, she met her future husband, Greg Whitley, a football player, on her first day of high school while the P.E. class was sitting on bleachers in the gym. After their first date, they were inseparable.

Children are Brook, Abby and Brett. Brook is at the University of Montevallo majoring in English, Abby is a senior at THS and is following in her mother’s footsteps as the head majorette. She and four fellow Seniors hold the state title in the baton competition. Brett, age 16, is a member of the state champion Thompson wrestling team.

The whole Whitley family is THS oriented. Add in their volunteer work and church involvement and you have a close, committed family.

“Our faith keeps us grounded. We have surely had our share of disconnects but with our parents and friends we’ve never lacked support,” she said. “We started our family when we were just kids….and kids raising kids is very difficult.”

The Whitleys are teaching their children not only to be active and involved but to always remember their commitment to Christ and the church and their individual abilities to give back or “pass it on.”

Whitley and daughter Abby are both employees at Shelby Starlets and look forward to this year of band and games at THS.