Former Frankie Ballard helps Lakeview celebrate 100 years of Spartan Pride

The extended Spartan family joins their alma mater this week as Lakeview Schools celebrates 100 years.

And one of his own is happy to help lead the charge.

“What an honor to be claimed for this,” said Frankie Ballard, a 2001 Lakeview alum and country singer with eight country chart singles. “I’m back. I just think the community should celebrate a great high school like this. I’m kinda doubly blessed to be able to hang out with the music department and the athletics department.

“It’s really exciting to be able to talk to young guitarists and baseball players because you never know, maybe the next big thing will be a Spartan.”

Ballard returned to Battle Creek to participate in the Lakeview Centennial Celebration over the weekend. He worked Thursday with Lakeview students in a high school guitar class and shared how he went from being a Lakeview student to a singer and songwriter in Nashville.

Ballard then helped the students learn the classic song “Ring of Fire,” which he will perform with the band during the festivities on Saturday. The former Lakeview athlete was also scheduled to throw out the first pitch Thursday at a college baseball game as honorary captain.

“Purple still runs through my veins, that’s for sure,” Ballard said. “It always will be. This place gave me a great foundation and I will never forget this opportunity to dream here. That’s what high school was to me, a place where you can dream of being whatever you want to be.

“I also get to see old friends, old teachers. It’s really, selfishly, one of the best parts of coming back for that. You never know who you might see or who I might see over the weekend. So it’s kind of a surprise party for me.”

Thursday’s events marked the start of an extended weekend of celebrations, highlighted by an open house and showcase of performances on Saturday. Students, staff, alumni, families, retirees and community members are invited to join in the festivities from 1 to 5 p.m. at Lakeview Middle School.

Country music singer Frankie Ballard and senior Vinny Rose lead guitar class at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Michigan on Thursday, May 5, 2022.

“I think Lakeview has always strived for excellence over the years and now is a good time to show that and to show our diversity as a school,” said Acting Superintendent Cindy Green, of the Lakeview class. from 1976. Just to be able to see people from different decades who have been to Lakeview and see how excited they are to be a part of this.

“I’m just glad they’re doing it. It would be really easy to post something simple, but we’re doing so much more to celebrate it. It’s a way to let people come back and see what Lakeview is all about. today. To have them come back to see the new school and new facilities and to bring people back with good feelings.”

Former Lakeview student and country singer Frankie Ballard is back in town to help the school celebrate its centennial.  Ballard, who was a member of the Lakeview 2000 baseball title team, threw out the first pitch during a Spartans game on Thursday.

Throughout the festivities, guests will get a glimpse of the teaching and learning taking place at Lakeview through displays of student work and interactions with various student clubs. The high school robotics team will be on hand to demonstrate their T-shirt throwing robot that will launch centennial shirts.

Another Saturday highlight will be a performance showcase, featuring current students and alumni. The Spartans, LHS Jazz Band and the Lakeview Spartan Singers will take the stage. The LHS Burmese Club will perform a special performance of a traditional bamboo dance. Past performers will include the voices of Alexis Ballard (Class of 2005), Altamiece Carolyn Cooper (1999) and educator Carolyn Ballard. Nick Davio (1999) will perform an original ballad commemorating the centenary. Current Lakeview student Ada LeAnn, seen recently on television on the “American Song Contest”, and Ballard will round out the lineup.

Former Lakeview student and country singer Frankie Ballard is back in town to help the school celebrate its centennial.  Ballard, who was a member of the Lakeview 2000 baseball title team, threw out the first pitch during a Spartans game on Thursday.

Alumni Rick Jones (1970), Martha Thawnghmung (1984) and Tha Par (2009) and community leader Talia Champlin will also be recognized as part of the district’s centennial celebration. Jones, Thawnghmung and Par will each receive a Distinguished Alumni Award. Champlin will receive the first Community Spirit Award.

Contact Bill Broderick at bbroderi@battlecreekenquirer.com. Follow him on Twitter @billbroderick

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