Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata singled out "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery for praise today.
During his weekly news briefing, Tata congratulated McCreery, 17, a Garner High School junior, for Wednesday night's win. Tata also took the opportunity to get in some praise for the school system's music programs.
"We’re all very proud of Scotty and all that he represents," Tata said. "He’s a role model for all of our students and indeed for all of us as he has demonstrated poise, courage and talent under pressure. Scotty’s success is just another example of how our music and arts programs, as well as our athletic programs, afford opportunities to all of our children so they can aspire to achieve their dreams.
The graduations, the state championships and one of our student’s fantastic success on the national stage should remind us all why we are were. Which is to help our students to succeed."
McCreery showed some appreciation for what he learned in Wake when he invited Meredith Covington Clayton, his Garner High music teacher, to Hollywood for the finale.
Clayton got a special surprise on the live show - a new car as part of a Ford promotion to honor the teachers of the finalists.
Clayton also has a connection to the Triangle's previous "Idol" finalist - her mother, Diane Covington, taught music to Clay Aiken when he was a student at Raleigh's Leesville Road High School. Aiken finished second in Season 2 of "Idol."