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Kellie chats with NSHS teacher

By Ritchie Starnes
News Editor
No one can accuse a veteran English and drama teacher at North Stanly High School of not being able to keep a secret.
The cat escaped the bag Wednesday morning when students watched Comets teacher Kerri Huffman appear on the “Pickler & Ben” show. Students and school personnel were treated to an impromptu leisure of seeing firsthand a special bond between Huffman and Albemarle’s favorite daughter, Kellie Pickler.
Huffman served as Pickler’s drama teacher when she was a sophomore at NSHS. In fact, because Pickler considers Huffman her favorite teacher, she was invited to appear on the show for a segment designated for “Terrific Teachers.”
“You were a sanctuary for all your students,” Pickler told Huffman during the televised segment. The former “American Idol” star told the television audience Huffman’s class was a “safe place” for those students who hailed from broken homes.
During the interview, Huffman described how she and Pickler’s classmates accidentally discovered her musical talent. It was a fall production of “Groovy” when Huffman chose Pickler as a surfer girl, a part that required her to sing a song from the soundtrack.
“I said, ‘Kellie, do you think you can sing that?’ She said, ‘I think so,’ ” Huffman recalled.
To everyone’s amazement Pickler then grabbed the microphone and confidently belted out the tune in her booming voice.
“All of us in the class were — ‘oh my gosh, we didn’t know you could sing like that,’ ” Huffman said.
Pickler added that the experience marked the first time she performed on stage.
“Pickler & Ben” is a new daytime television show featuring country music star Kellie Pickler and Emmy-winning TV personality Ben Aaron. The show, taped in Nashville, features celebrities related with such topics as entertainment, cooking, decorating, gardening and beauty tips.
Huffman acknowledged she had to keep her scheduled visit on “Pickler & Ben” a secret, which only added to Wednesday’s surprise telecast.
Producers of the program flew Huffman and her husband to Nashville on Jan. 30 for the next day taping. Along with accommodations at Sheraton Grand in downtown Nashville, the couple was also provided a private driver during their stay.
Viewers can see Huffman and Pickler by visiting www.picklerandben.com where the video is available.

To submit story ideas, contact Ritchie Starnes at (704) 982-2121 ext. 20 or email ritchie@stanlynews press.com.