Miss Georgia Teen comes home

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

By: Alex Amos

Recently crowned Miss Georgia Teen and Springwood School senior, Charlie Key, visited her alma mater, Hollis Hand Elementary, Friday morning before her trip to Florida for the Miss America’s Teen competition.

The school opened its doors to Key, with students gathering in the auditorium and welcoming her back with handmade posters, hugs, and kind words. 

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“It feels so special to be here, and I cried when I saw the love that these kids have,” Key said. “A lot of them don’t even know me, but we can connect just over the fact that we’re all Hollis Hand Hawks.” 

During her visit, Key reminisced about the times she shared as a student and spoke about her experiences beyond elementary school as well. 

Throughout her student career, Key has participated in several community projects including the March of Dimes in which she led a local movement raising over $4,000 for the organization. Key also pioneered a nationally recognized social media campaign under the organization called March of Dimes Mondays.

Upon graduation, Key plans to attend the University of Alabama to study broadcast journalism in hopes of becoming a sports journalist.

“She’s such an amazing young lady, and she’s so poised even though she’s just a senior in high school,” Principal of Hollis Hand Elementary Kelly Doughman said. “We’re just so thankful that she wanted to come back and spend some of her day with us.” 

After giving a heartfelt and inspirational speech showing gratitude to the school, Key surprised students and staff with a powerful performance of the famous Disney song, “Let It Go” from the film “Frozen.” 

Returning the favor and surprising Key, the school’s auditorium lights dimmed and a video was displayed on the projector for everyone to see. Hollis Hand Media Specialist Amy Johnson presented a video of all the memories Key made in her pageant career, highlighting many of her achievements. 

“This event was awesome and ultimately great for our kids to see what they can do in life,” said Heather Wallace, Hollis Hand Elementary assistant principal. “Charlie is just a wonderful spotlight to our community and also to Hollis Hand Elementary.”

Key hopes to inspire students at Hollis Hand to pursue their passions and dreams by setting an example through her hard work. 

“I just want them to see that they can do anything that they put their mind to,” Key said. “I realized that this is an opportunity for me to not only just do my best in competitions but also to make an impact on the lives of other people by being a kind person and putting in the work.”