Highlander Choir dedicates song to retiring Patsy Slate

“I will never forget double-fistbump Friday and him always asking about my truck,” said senior Zane Montgomery.“I have so many good stories about Patsy, I’ve lost count.”

Patsy Alexander Slate, one of the best-known crossing guards and security officers at Southmoreland, has been in the district before the high school was renovated in 1999. Though only being a part of the district support staff, Mr. Slate has been one of the most influential and playfully positive forces in Southmoreland, especially in the student body.

“Ever since my freshman year, when he found me roaming the halls, he just laughed and gave me a fistbump, said senior Charity Henderson. “If I didn’t, he yelled at me!”

Due to his large involvement in our school, as well as his recent retirement announcement, Southmoreland’s Highlander Choir will be dedicating a piece entitled “Remembering Decembers” by Pinkzebra to Mr. Slate at the upcoming chorus concert on Dec. 10. The song discusses the numerous happy memories from the holiday seasons through life, while always looking forward to new memories being created.

“When looking at the text all on its own, (Mr. Slate) came to my mind immediately. As soon as I thought of it, I knew that this would be the perfect piece to dedicate to him before he retired,” said choral director Mrs. Michelle Zamperini. “As I talked more and more about it with my students, it seemed as if everyone had at least one ‘Patsy story,’ and I knew that dedicating it to him was a wonderful choice.”

Mr. Slate has also been highly supportive of the music program at Southmoreland, attending numerous of the plays that took place, as well as the two musicals that have taken place the past two years.

“I enjoyed the plays when we had them and greatly enjoyed the last two musicals,” said Mr. Slate. “I plan to come to the one this year.”

After his retirement on Dec. 20, Mr. Slate said he plans to work in his woodshop, where he frequently builds projects when he has the time, and spending time with his wife of 56 years, daughter, three sons, and seven grandchildren. However, he will always look back happily at his time at Southmoreland.

“I’ve had so many great kids here and believe me, I’ve been around the world a little, and I believe that we have the best school in the entire area,” he said. “I’m simply doing my job, and my job is to protect my kids. When I look at the students (of SHS), that’s what I see.”

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