Palestine Magazine January 2019 - Page 41

Carey McKinney, 64, always wanted to repay the favors and opportu- nities he received as a child. He’s done that as a Boy Scouts and youth athletics leader. A field agent for the federal commission on law enforcement for Northeast Texas, McKinney previously worked as a sheriff’s deputy, jus- tice of the peace, and county judge. He also served on the Westwood School Board for 14 years. After getting married in 1975, McKinney worked with the Boy Scouts in his old troop. He then coached baseball for 25 years (his children came up through the program) and started the Little Dribbler’s program at Westwood. In 1990, he started the Anderson County Football League; 29 years later, he’s still in it. Giving back to the community and kids is an easy choice for McKinney. He especially enjoys seeing kids he coached going on to become suc- cessful adults. “These kids are our future,” he said. “You have to be engaged, if you are going to make a difference.” Carol Bentley Dance teacher and bright light Hundreds of boys and girls have attended the Academy of Dance, learning tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop under the tutelage of dance instruc- tor Carol Bentley. Many have gone on to teach; some have starred under the bright lights of Broadway. Bentley’s daughter has been in shows tour- ing the world. “I always want to be a bright light in these children’s lives,” Bentley said. “I feel like God put me here to do what I love to do, and to take care of these children.” Bentley’s mother and grandmother were dance instructors. After high school, Bentley was one of 30 freshmen chosen for the TCU dance program as a ballet major. She also studied jazz and later toured under Gus Giordano, the godfather of jazz dance. Bentley toured professionally for three years. After coming home, she married the now late Judge Bascom Bentley when he was a local attor- ney. Bentley and her mother, Joy Swift, joined forces and opened the Acad- emy of Dance. To stay up on new trends and techniques, Bentley at- tends classes, shows, and conventions, traveling as far as New York and L.A. Dance lessons throughout the year culminate with a showcase of her students – each with its own theme, backdrops, music and costumes. “I love glitter, sparkles, and feathers,” Bentley said. “I’m animated. We have a hoot.” JANUARY 2019 41