Always a Panther: Radio Host still Leans on Life Lessons Learned In High School

Almost 30 years after graduating from Duncanville High School, Starlene Stringer still relies on lessons learned while growing up as a student in the district. Ms. Stringer says her teachers prepared her for the real world.

“I learned life lessons on how to dream and how to succeed in business,” Ms. Stringer said.

Ms. Stringer is now the morning show co-host and news director for the number one Christian radio station in America, 94.9 KLTY.

Her path to that position required perseverance. Some of that Ms. Stringer says she picked up not from her successes, but her missteps.

When she started high school, Ms. Stringer had her heart set on becoming a member of the Duncanville High Hats, the school’s dance team. But she didn’t make it the first year. High Hats instructor Kristi Creamer Beaty encouraged her not to give up. Ms. Stringer tried out the following year and she made it.

“I’ll never forget running up the gym stairs, to see if I made the squad,” Ms. Stringer said.  “There’s no better feeling than seeing your name on that prestigious list.”

Another memory, just as vivid, involves the impact of a decision Ms. Stringer made about her science class. She was opposed to dissecting animals, but quickly learned that refusing to participate results in a failing grade. As a result, she had to spend time not participating on the dance team, but she made it through and picked up her favorite activity again when her grade improved.

“That experience and my years as a High Hat taught me how to dance through life with my head held high and a smile on my face,” Stringer said.

Ms. Stringer says her favorite English teacher was Barbara Simmons because she had a passion for engaging her students.

“I still remember how she used to recite a poem titled, ‘There Once Was a Puffin,’ Ms. Stringer said.  “I loved it. Not because it was the best poem. It was her joy and enthusiasm while reciting it.”

Ms. Stringer developed her love for writing into a career. She documented memories from her childhood as the daughter of a military man in her book, ‘Speak Through Me: The Diary of a Military Brat.’ She also writes from time to time for local magazines and to spiritual devotionals.

Whether in print or on the radio, Ms. Stringer attributes many of her successes in life to the firm foundation she received in Duncanville ISD.

“We High Hats like to say, ‘It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish,’ Ms. Stringer said. “But where you start makes a difference, too. Which is why I’m glad I spent my elementary, junior high and high school years in Duncanville schools!”