She's got spunk and big talent
While it's difficult to go unnoticed in a small town, Rector senior Destinei Heathcott has worked hard to stand out even more. The 17-year-old daughter of Jason and Becky Pruett Lindsey and Scotty and Tammy Heathcott of Dyersburg has made her presence known through her performances as a singer, an athlete and an active student.
"I've always enjoyed being involved," Heathcott said. "I'm not someone who just wants to stay home and sit around. I like to get out and do things. I enjoy being around other people."
Heathcott has stayed busy during her time at RHS, being involved in the Lady Cougar basketball team, FBLA, FCCLA, Gifted and Talented, senior high choir, Art Club, Library Club and Student Council.
Heathcott combined her joy of singing with her love of being around others into a memorable moment Friday night, performing the National Anthem prior to the homecoming basketball game between Rector and Buffalo Island Central. Following her performance, she received a rousing ovation from both her home crowd and the visitors from BIC in the packed gymnasium.
"I had people I didn't know come up and tell me how much they enjoyed it," Heathcott said. "It made me feel really good about myself."
Not only did Heathcott perform at her final homecoming as an RHS student, but Friday night's performance also marked the first time someone sang the National Anthem prior to a game in the new gymnasium, according to the senior.
Heathcott is familiar with singing in front of crowds, having performed at a number of events such as talent shows in Rector, Marmaduke and Piggott. She has won the RHS and Labor Day talent shows and has even taken the stage at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis, where she finished eighth out of 33 participants.
Heathcott says she developed her love for singing during childhood by listening to her mother, Becky, sing.
"I grew up with it," Heathcott said. "Mom went really far with her singing. I just wanted to follow in her footsteps."
Heathcott enjoys different styles of music, but her favorite, and what she is most influenced by, is country.
"I'm definitely more country than anything," Heathcott said. "I like Taylor Swift's story about how she became a singer. Of course, everyone likes Carrie Underwood. Miranda Weaver and Reba McIntire are my all-time favorites. I want to meet them someday."
Heathcott plans to continue performing at local events.
"I'm entering the talent show at school again," she said. "I want to go out with a bang since it's my senior year."
Following high school, Heathcott says she would like to study nursing at either Jonesboro or Dyersburg.
If she approaches her career with the same devotion as she has her other activities, it's likely Heathcott will be able to accomplish almost anything.