AHS program: Decisions matter

Published 12:20 am Saturday, March 24, 2012

Here, actor Ole Pete Key is led into the Billingsley auditorium by Autauga County Sheriff’s Deputy Allen while handcuffed and hanging his head low.

One decision can have a lasting impact and set off a chain of events that can change one’s life forever.

At the beginning of school, Andalusia High School students heard from author Andy Andrews on the “butterfly effect,” and on Wednesday and Thursday, the theme will continue with presentations by Ole Pete Key, national motivational speaker.

Charlotte Spurlin, AHS teacher, said the events are sponsored by the First United Methodist Church and the AHS Peer Helpers Club.

“We always try to do an assembly or a series of activities before students have an extended holiday from school and make plans to celebrate their freedom,” Spurlin said, speaking of the upcoming spring break holiday. “We like to offer an assembly or activities that will encourage students to think before they act.”

Spurlin said she met Key and his wife, Sharlene, at the Alabama Youth Council last October, and “after discussing the types of presentations they make, Dr. Shakespeare, we settled on the topic of making good choices, since that is so very important and it continues the study of our butterfly effect theme.”

According to Key’s website, their goal is to “meet people where they are the way they are, and educate and motivate them to get to where they are going in life.” The group uses music, drama, poetry, comedy, motivational speeches and teaching to convey profound, yet practical principles.

Key, who is from Florence, has partnered with a variety of agencies to spread the message including, the state department of public health, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and state departments of education through out the nation.

He will speak Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the AHS auditorium and deliver a religious-based message.

“He will discuss peer pressure, good decision making and turning struggles into strengths,” Spurlin said. “There will also be special performances by AHS student bands, White Light, the Methodist Youth band and ‘Callow,’ a band made up of students who are members of various local churches’ youth groups.”

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

On Thursday at 10 a.m., Key will be giving a presentation at AHS for their students and teachers.

“There, he will discuss how every moment of our lives is crucial and the potentially devastating results that can be experienced because of just one bad decision,” Spurlin said. “In just one moment, we can make one decision that will change our whole lives. Pete will dress up as a state prisoner and will be handcuffed and escorted in by Sheriff Dennis Meeks. He will share his past mistakes and decisions and tell how they have affected his life.”