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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Fax: 540-483-8013

1962 queen is grand marshal of homecoming parade
Susie Winesett Doherty’s daughter was also a homecoming queen
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Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston: Susie Winesett Doherty, Franklin County High School’s 1962 Homecoming Queen, will be the grand marshal of this week’s homecoming parade.

Monday, October 22, 2012

By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer

Franklin County High School's 1962 Homecoming Queen will be the grand marshal of this year's homecoming parade on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.

"Fifty years ago, there were around 1,600 kids in the high school," said Susie Winesett Doherty. "The six nominees (for homecoming queen) had to walk in front of the whole student body."

"I was very nervous because, back then, we were told about a week before the football game who had won," she added. "I remember getting roses and a homemade crown."

Though born in Galax, Doherty attended Franklin County schools and went on to attend National Business College in Roanoke where she earned a degree in business. After working with special needs children in Galax for 10 years, she came back to Franklin County, where she has been teaching special education for 23 years.

"I thoroughly enjoy working with special needs children each day," said Doherty. "I feel fortunate and blessed to be able to make these kid's day a little better. They are precious to me and such a joy to work with. This is my passion."

Doherty is married to Joe Doherty, who also works for the Franklin County school system, and they currently reside in Roanoke. She has a son, David Zeh, who lives in Atlanta; a daughter, Amy Zeh Slate; and two grandchildren, Abby and Samuel Slate.

Her daughter, Amy, happens to be Franklin County High School's Homecoming Queen from 25 years ago.

"I was excited when I won the title," said Doherty, "but not as excited as I was when my daughter won it 25 years later."

"Mrs. Doherty still possesses all of the wonderful qualities of a queen, which is exemplified through her dedication to our special needs students and the enthusiasm she exudes when passing her in the hallways," said Anitra Holland, faculty advisor for the Student Council Association (SCA).

Homecoming week is a high school tradition full of festivities to promote school spirit.

"These are great activities for a small town," said Doherty. "It's all very nostalgic and brings back a lot of memories."

All week, the students will participate in spirit days, dressing up in various attire and participating in class competitions.

The junior and senior classes will have a powder puff game in which the girls will play football, while the guys cheer.

The homecoming parade will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday. The parade floats will turn right out of the parking lot of 457 South Main Street and turn left onto North Main Street. The parade will then turn right onto Pell Avenue and end up at Franklin County High School.

A pep rally and tailgate party for FCHS students will take place Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m., and the homecoming football game will kick off at 7 p.m.

At halftime, Doherty, along with her daughter and last year's homecoming queen, Katie Woods, will lead the march of the new homecoming court. The class of 1987 will also celebrate its reunion, and Michelle Cole Burke, the homecoming queen in 1987, will also be part of the halftime processional. The homecoming king and queen will be announced, as well as Mr. Football and Miss Cheerleader.

Friday will also be senior night in which senior football players and cheerleaders will march across the field with their parents at halftime.

The traditional homecoming dance is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. in the central gym.

"I think it's important that we bring back FCHS alumni so the students today can experience that history and feel more connected with their school and community," said Holland. "Homecoming is a tradition that, I think, is important and connects us all."

 
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