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East Gaston’s Levi Summey is a music man

By Alan Hodge

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East Gaston senior Levi Summey will  graduate this week and leave behind a legacy he forged by combining his love of music with a burning desire to serve his school.

Levi, the son of Barry and Kristy Summey, grew up in Stanley. He attended Springfield and Kiser elementary schools and Stanley Middle School. 

From an early age, Summey became active in school leadership roles.

“I served on the student council in middle school,” he said. 

He carried that desire to serve to East Gaston where he was student body vice president during his freshman and sophomore years. He went on to become student body president during his junior and senior years.

Summey explained how he used his strong people skills to achieve office.

“I felt like I had good connections with the other students,” he said. “I didn’t make campaign posters. I went to people and asked them what would make East Gaston better.”

Being student body president taught Summey a bit about what it takes to be a leader.

“Pleasing everyone is a challenge,” he said.

Summey used his time in office to good advantage.

“I feel like I did a lot to boost school spirit at East Gaston,” he said. “A big part of that was planning pep rallies with the executive council.”

But pep rallies are just the tip of the iceberg in what Summey did to make East Gaston a greater school. He helped get the broadcasting  and news program going. He also coordinated and organized the EG Athletic Lip Synch video series. He He helped the athletic director with the Reverse raffle. He takes his turn at the microphone as an announcer at Warrior games. He even takes part in keeping the football field groomed by driving a lawnmower. 

As much as he throws himself into these activities, it’s music that fills Summey’s soul. He’s been a member of the chorus every one of his four years at East Gaston. He plays the organ at Stanley Pentecostal Church and is the youth ministry music director there. He also has a combo called the Levi Summey Band.

“We play for senior citizens,” he said.

One of Summey’s teachers, Peter Haley who is choir director and chair of the East Gaston Fine Arts Dept., had this to say.

“First of all, Levi is one of the most humble, selfless students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching at East Gaston,” he said.  “His dedication to serving his peers, school, and community is unmatched, and the work he has done in his four years here will have an impact for years to come. As a musician, he is without a doubt the most naturally talented person I’ve met; his voice is strong and clear, his piano skills are dazzling, and his ability to lead an ensemble is keen. It’s hard to imagine what our program and school would have looked like without Levi here; I can personally say that he has been a tremendous resource when it comes to recording and technology. We owe him a great debt of gratitude and wish him all the best as he matriculates.”

Summey will continue to pursue his love of music when he enters college in the fall. He’s paired his talent with plenty of hard work and earned a full scholarship to Anderson University where he will major in Music with plans to become a church music director.

With his time at East Gaston coming to an end, Summey reflected on what the school has meant to him

“The best part is the people,” he said. “The staff, students, and counselors are top notch. It’s like one big family.”

Summey also offered this advice for those students coming along behind him.

“Keep the school traditions alive,” he said. “Warrior pride is a big thing. It come with responsibility. People before set the way and we should honor them. Their work is something that needs to be carried on.”