The Beard Family
Hitting a high note
Worthington Christian’s fine arts programs helped Beard develop talents on violin, singing while strengthening a sense of confidence
Every time her daughter Alysha (WC ’21) takes the stage to perform, whether it be with her voice, her violin, or in track and field, Kenya Beard shakes her head in wonder.
“One of my biggest desires for my children is for them to be well rounded – socially, academically, artistically, and athletically,” said Kenya, who enrolled her daughter at Worthington Christian School when Alysha was in third grade. “What I appreciate about Worthington Christian is the school allowed me to provide Alysha with all of those opportunities.”
Alysha Beard is not alone in taking advantage of what the school’s art programs have to offer. Thirty-five percent of third through fifth-grade students participate in the school’s string program. Each year, Worthington Christian offers students 15 or more chances to display their artistic talents, whether it is through the orchestra, band, choir, or visual arts.
Alysha has earned several superior rankings as a violinist and has had the opportunity to be a soloist with the school’s show choir and choir. Worthington Christian does not weed out students through an auditioning process for its choir, allowing all interested students from grades nine to 12 a chance to perform.
“The opportunities have been bountiful. My daughter may not have had these kinds of chances if she went to another school,” Kenya said. “My daughter is a quiet person and (performing on a stage) is not something she would choose for herself. It’s been amazing to see her blossom into someone who will stand on a stage and sing and play the violin.”
Kenya said teachers like Renee Johnson, who heads the school’s orchestra program, and Karen Rugg-Klapheke, Worthington Christian’s grades nine to 12 choir director, have been instrumental in developing her child’s talent while nurturing her confidence.
“Mrs. Johnson has been in my daughter’s life since Alysha was in third grade. I can’t thank her enough for how she helps my daughter do something I’ve always wanted to do,” Kenya said. “I appreciate Mrs. Klapheke for providing my daughter with multiple opportunities to be a soloist.
“Just like Worthington Christian’s academics, the fine arts programs are very sound. They don’t provide just some ‘(middle of the road) we’re going to sing something for our parents’ concerts. I am very impressed with the program because it gives the children a chance to have professional people evaluate them, critique them, and help them improve their skills.”
In many ways, Worthington Christian has echoed Kenya Beard’s lessons to her family on what it takes to be successful in life.
“I tell my children that above everything else, strive to have a good heart, work hard, be present, love yourself, never give up and help other people along the way. That is how you live your best life,” she said. “Worthington Christian allowed Alysha to experience what I desired for her. The school invested in my daughter; they were truly a village helping me raise my daughter.”