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Congrats to King’s Fork singer

With an intensive focus on core subjects in order to help students succeed on Standards of Learning tests could come the tendency for public schools to forsake other important areas.

But it’s comforting to know Suffolk Public Schools still encourages students to find their passions, wherever they may lie.

As evidence, we present Te’Wan Hailes, an 18-year-old senior at King’s Fork High School, who recently represented his school at the Virginia Music Educators Association Honors Choir performance during the association’s annual Professional Development Conference at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs.

Hailes was one of 100 selected for the performance out of more than 700 who auditioned. That alone was an honor, as the performance is one of the highest achievements for a choral singer in his senior year of high school.

But then he learned he had been randomly selected to perform a solo in “Every Time I Feel the Spirit” by Moses Hogan. By all accounts, he performed outstandingly on the solo.

“It was great,” he said.

Hailes traces his love for music to many in his mother’s side of the family. He can still remember singing in church at age 5.

He named Robin Duncan, choral director at Churchland High School, as a mentor. He was her first male student to be named to the honors choir performance.

Despite his natural talent, Hailes doesn’t intend to rely on that alone. He says he practices “every moment of the day.” He also is on the track team at King’s Fork and hopes to use both talents to attract scholarships.

We extend our congratulations to Hailes and to all of his family and mentors who have helped train him. With his positive attitude and work ethic, we are confident that he will go far, whether it be in track, musical performance or any other endeavor he may choose.