By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The stage of Millington Central High School is familiar to the family of Kadasha Allen.
Her parents and grandmother graduated from the Flag City institution. So when 2011 arrived, it was time for Kadasha to take the spotlight.
But not so fast — first the freshman had to overcome her shyness and still needed a little direction. Fast forward to May 2015, Allen is an accomplished MCHS senior and one of the most popular students.
“Being involved for me is knowing first of all I’m not out doing anything I’m not supposed to be doing,” she acknowledged. “I can stay involved and let freshmen, sophomore and juniors see what a leader is. You don’t have to a 4.0 student in the top 10 of your class to be a leader. You can have a good light shine from you. I just like being a leader and letting people know you can step up.”
Part of Allen’s leadership during her time at MCHS was Senior Class Secretary, manager of Trojan TV Broadcast, president of Pep Club and junior leader for Young Life in Millington.
Before Allen got involved in so much at MCHS, she had to come out of her shell and focus on doing the right thing. That is where Assistant Principal Beth Hale entered the picture.
“Ms. Hale, coming in as a freshman I was like any other freshman,” Allen recalled. “I was kind of reckless, stayed in trouble and didn’t want to go to class on time. But Ms. Hale changed that and redirected me to keep me on track.”
Hale started the foundation that teachers like Mickey Wilhite, Michelle Cox, Amy Chandler and Marshonn Calvin reinforced over the next four years.
With support within the school, Allen started to pop up at major school events like Homecoming, Winterfest, Oscar Night, sporting events and more.
Allen was seeking even more guidance outside the halls of MCHS. Young Life now enters the picture giving Allen spiritual focus and growth.
“My Young Life leaders, Jessica and Luke Sadler, Tina and Mr. Joe Baltensperger have been great leaders,” Allen said. “They’re been spiritual leaders these last four years of high school. They’ve helped me stay on track in a spiritual way.”
By the time Allen walked on campus this past August, she was firmly on of the leaders in the Class of 2015. She was ready to be a part of the first graduating class of the new Millington Municipal Schools.
And Allen wanted to make the most out of her last year at MCHS with her leadership roles like announcing live events.
“It feels good to know an administrator or teacher would even think of allowing me to do that, give me the responsibility,” she said. “First it is an honor. Second of all, it’s interesting to be a part of something the Homecoming Queen or Winterfest Queen will never forget.”
Allen got her moment in the spotlight this past spring when she as named Female Trojan of the Month. That was bonus on her junior year election as class secretary.
“I’m graduating from a school, not only my Grandmother (Darla Allen) attended, but my Mom and Dad as well,” she said. “And we’re the first class to come out of the Millington Municipal School district. I’m just glad I can be a positive light within the school and showing the younger kids how it’s supposed to be done. Hopefully I’m giving them some ideas to when you become as senior you can do this and you’re expected to be doing this.”
Allen’s father Ramone was a senior in 1996 and her mother Tiffany Knight graduated a year later. Now 2015 is the year Kadasha will add her name to the family legacy. As for her future, the time she spent in Calvin’s broadcasting class might guide her in the next chapter of her life.
“Doing it for four years, I really started off behind the scenes,” she said. “But everybody already knew who I was and what I was doing. In the future, if I can picture anything coming from Mass Communications, I would probably want to be in front of the camera so I can be a news anchor or have my own show.
I would want to be the next Oprah,” Allen concluded. “But not to knock Oprah, I want to be better than Oprah. I want to take it to a different level. I want to be my generation’s Oprah.”