WXII 12 News anchor Wanda Starke gave the keynote on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at Carver High School’s First Quarter Honor Roll Celebration.
The occasion honored the 112 students who achieved a 3.0 or higher GPA. The eight students who made straight As during the first quarter were given special recognition during the program. Departmental awards were also presented to students who were selected by their teachers for excelling in specific areas.
Starke’s message, which included an amusing parable, exhorted students against succumbing to peer pressure and encouraged them to be the person God created them to be at all times. In an effort to encourage students to be mindful of the company they keep, she also spoke about her own close friends, with whom she said she shares similar standards and values.
Starke, who co-anchors the newscasts at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., joined WXII in 1994. The Hampton Roads, Va. native also produces the weekly “A Place to Call Home” segment that profiles children waiting to be adopted. It’s a personal issue for Starke, as she herself was adopted as a child.
A graduate of the University of Richmond, Starke, who also attended graduate school at Howard, began her broadcasting career in Augusta, Ga. and has also worked at television stations in Norfolk, Greensboro, Los Angeles and Buffalo, N.Y., where she made history as the first African American evening anchor in that large market.
Starke’s work on air and community service off the air have earned her a number of awards, including The President’s Award for Volunteer Service, The Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Excellence Award Honoring Women in Media from UNCF and the Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families from the Child Welfare League of America.
Starke, who’s been affiliated with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Forsyth County since 1995, serves on the board of directors and volunteers with the in-school mentoring program.
Starke and her husband, Ron Fisher, are active members of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem.
After Carver students received their honors and recognitions, they posed for pictures with Starke before heading to the Williams Gymnasium for a reception, complete with snacks and music.