Plans are underway for the second edition of “This is My North Johnston Day” with the program set to take place on April 5 at North Johnston High School, according to Principal David West.
Last year was the inaugural edition of the event West said he hopes will become an annual affair. He explained how it got started.
“We wanted to come up with a way to help motivate our students and give them an idea of what goes on in the school that they may not be aware of,” said West. “We wanted to meet and see some of our past graduates and show our students the impact these people have made in our community and to use that as motivation to help them set their own goals and set their futures.”
Among those recognized in the inaugural event last year were North Johnston graduate and National Football League player Willie Smith, who had his jersey No. 82 retired, the number he has worn when he played football at North Johnston, along with members of the 1981 state championship baseball team from North Johnston and North Johnston graduates who are now members of the faculty and staff at the school.
“I thought our first ‘This Is My North Johnston Day’ last year was pretty good,” said West. “It covered every facet of North Johnston including athletics, students and the community.
“We are still putting our lineup together for this year,” said West. “We are planning to add some things and do things a little different and have some different groups take part like ROTC, the band, National Honor Society, athletics and administrative and staff members.”
“Our guest speaker will be Alex Hayden, a sportscaster for MRN (Motor Racing Network) who has travelled with NASCAR while also broadcasting races for Fox network,”said West.
Hayden, who lives in the Goldsboro area, has done lots of work in radio including hosting a call-in talk show on SIRIUS radio and his resume includes performing in a minor role on the TV show “One Tree Hill.”
West said he met Hayden about 15 years ago when West was coaching basketball at Charles B. Aycock High School in Pikeville and the two have been friends since then. “I saw him at a recent North Johnston-Rosewood basketball game and invited him to come speak at our This Is My North Johnston Day and he accepted,” said West.
“He is a good speaker and I feel certain people will enjoy him,” said West.