On Friday night, talent show superstars will take the stage to showcase their skills in the second annual McDowell County Schools Got Talent competition.

There are over 30 acts in this year’s show ready to perform their way victory at the county level. The show is this Friday at East McDowell Middle School starting at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids. For more information, call 659-0411.

“There will be a first-, second- and third-place in elementary, middle and high school. Each winner will receive a trophy,” said McDowell Early College teacher Jessica Sutton. “The first place winners will not compete next year, but will be invited back to be exhibition entertainment while judges’ scores are tabulated.”

McDowell Early College’s Key Club has taken over the event after inheriting it from the Marion Kiwanis, which sponsored it for 63 years.

“Key Club members have done the bulk of the sales for the program. They will be working the night of the show as ushers and backstage hands, as well as operating stage and spotlights, helping judges and selling tickets,” said Sutton.

Last year’s winners Maggie Effler of McDowell Early College, and Ava Effler (no relation) of P.G. Elementary, will entertain the audience. Rhonda Spencer, Vicki Burton and Savannah Spencer are the judges.

Proceeds from ticket sales and ad sales will go to Key Club activities and projects. Some of their main fundraisers each year are UNICEF’s eliMiNaTe program to fight maternal and neonatal tetanus, March of Dimes and local service projects such as clothing and food drives.

“Each year a group of students attend Carolinas Key Club district convention where they receive officer and member training in service and leadership,” said Sutton. “Funds raised can help offset the $200 cost for students in need.”

Members of the Carolinas District of Kiwanis Club will also be at the talent show to invite people to consider joining a restarted Kiwanis Club.


Elementary Division


Autumn Oliver (first place, jazz dance and gymnastics)

Abigail Cespedes (second place, singing “Try Everything”)


Roby Franklin (first place, singing “You’re Not There”)

Zachary Wan (second place, piano “Alberti”)


Ryan Hunt (first place, singing “Everywhere That You Are”)

Campbell Hunt (second place, stand-up comedy)


Ainsley Williams (first place, singing “Girl on Fire”)

Mallory Burton, Lilly Revis (second place, ventriloquism “Adventures of May & Chef Noodles”)

North Cove:

Hailey “Bean” Goins (first place, singing “Stepsister’s Lament”)

Hadley Davis (singing “Popular” from Wicked)    

Old Fort:

Alyssa Kiser (first place, dancing “Lips are Moving”)

Serenity McGinnis (second place, singing “O, Come to the Altar”)

Pleasant Gardens:

Savannah Wilson (first place, singing “I Won’t Grow Up”)

Abby Clark (second place, Aerial Arts)

West Marion:

Lucan Boone (first place, singing “Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone”)

Panther Sticks: Eli Manning, Cashyia Robinson, Angel Guardian, Holden Thomas, Abraham Olloqui, Kaeler Carpenter, Kamden Elkins, Dorian Aguirre, Taylor Ledbetter, Karis Kadlec, Anthony Hilario, Saul Carson (second place, drum line “Take out the Trash and Other Chores”)


Middle School Division

West Middle:

Madeline Duncan (first place, singing “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”)

Aziyah Burgin (second place, singing “I’m Yours”)

Chloe Davis (third place, singing “Walking after Midnight”)

East Middle:

Alice McGraw (first place, dancing and tumbling “GDFR”)

Kelsey Ballard (second place, singing “Riptide”)

Charissa Gillespie (third place, singing “Iris”)

Foothills Community School:”

Chloe Phillips (first place, piano and singing “Believer”)

The Mad Hatters: Duncan Dulaney, Jacob Beane, Devon Parker (second place, dancing “Ra Ra Rasputin”)


High School Division

McDowell High:

Bailey Zimmer (first place, rapping “Dreaming with our Eyes Open”)

Kyleigh Chavers (second place, singing “Golden Days”)

Ashley Caldwell, Storme Adkins (third place, guitar and singing “Thumbs”)

Buntita Vasuthasawat (fourth place, singing “Let it Go”)

Cassie Rumfelt (fifth place, singing “I’m Yours”)

McDowell Early College:

Grace Sword (first place, singing “Don’t Rain on my Parade”)

Caitlyn Hansberger (second place, ukulele and singing “I Refuse to Give In”)

Jacob Frye (third place, guitar “Tush”)

Alternative Education Center:

Kaylee Dennie (first place, singing “Part of Your World”)

Cheyanna Reed (second place, singing “Ain’t No Sunshine”)

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