By Jennifer Wimmer
Sabrina Wheatley was raised in Hawesville, and is the daughter of Joseph & Tina Wheatley. Her two siblings are Brandon and Dylan Wheatley.
She is a 2016 graduate from Hancock County High School, and played tenor saxophone in jazz band, and clarinet in marching and concert band. She was in the Beta Club, and was also on the archery team all 4 years.
She graduated from Murray State University in December of 2021, and earned her Bachelor’s in Music Education.
While attending Murray, she substitute taught at Hendron-Lone Oak Elementary School and at Mayfield Middle School, as part of her student-teaching requirements.
Mayfield was one of the areas affected by the 2021 Western Kentucky tornado, and Sabrina was student-teaching at Mayfield Middle before and after the tragedy struck.
Some of the students had no power or water in their homes for a month, and some lost their homes.
Sabrina and the other teachers had to “shift gears,” she said, and make it a priority to reassure them and be there for them emotionally.
While attending MSU, from her sophomore year until this past fall, she has been a part of a professional music fraternity – Sigma Alpha Iota, and was a board coordinator on the Executive Board for one full school year.
They hosted philanthropy-based events on campus every spring called “All Campus Sing.”
Every organization on campus was invited, and they put on a show to raise money for instruments each year, as well as collecting instruments – all to donate to different schools.
Sabrina was also in the very popular Murray State Racer Band while attending there for 3 years. For 2 of those years, she was the clarinet section leader.
“If you’re a band kid, please join college marching band,” she said. “I know it is not competitive, but it is still a great experience, and it is fun as all get out.
The greatest thing is getting to go to high school band competitions, being the last show of the evening, and getting to see all of the high schoolers be amazed and freaked out because we’re playing the latest and greatest songs.
One of my favorite experiences, my last year in it, I was a part of a trio in one of the songs. So, I got to stand front and center with two other people and play into the microphone.
It was at a band competition in Evansville where HCHS Marching Band was also at. So, I got to see a bunch of my friends, and they got to see me play.”
She worked as a cashier at the Wal-Mart in Murray starting her sophomore year at MSU, and has continued to work there for the last 4 years. She worked the service desks, and was also a team leader at different times.
For the past 3 seasons, she’s been on staff at Marshall County High School, and has worked every fall semester with the marching band, as well as the last 2 weeks of July with marching band camp there, and at a few other schools.
She served as the technician on-hand for everywhere the marching band went, for wood wind instruments, and helped them warm-up, do drills, and keep their instruments working well.
Sabrina will be starting her career this fall as Music Teacher for Kindergarten-Grade 12 at Hickman County Schools.
She will be teaching Elementary Music in pre-school through sixth grade, and also doing after school choir for grades 7-12.
The new principal has talked with her about expanding the music program and she is excited to be a part of that expansion.
There is a possibility of adding a drama class, a Christmas program, and eventually turning the after school choir into a class.
One of her intended goals, she said, is to eventually create a marching band there as well.
“I’m excited to finally be in a room where I can teach what I want to teach,” she said. “It’s more free reign…I’m ready for it and I am prepared.
I’m working with a really good crew at Hickman County School district, and they will help me with anything and everything that I need.”
She enjoys baking and cooking in her spare time. She loves to bake cookies from scratch, and has perfected the Lemon Cookie recently.
She is a huge Harry Potter fan. She started reading the books in middle school and high school, and still loves them.
Her family has purchased her many Harry Potter themed gifts over the years, including a Harry Potter song book written for the clarinet.
She had the pleasure of traveling to Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter with friends in the summer of her junior year at MSU.
“If you ever get the chance to go,” she said, “it is a great experience.”
She says that something she’s always lived by is: “Keep trucking along. Just keep moving, because you’re going to run into obstacles throughout your life constantly, and if you let those obstacles trip you up, then you’re not going to get to where you’re going.
So, no matter what, just keep going. Keep going for what you want to do. Keep going for where you want to be. And, don’t let those obstacles get in your way.”
Sabrina said that this mindset comes from her father’s influence.
“Although my father has never said it, he basically does it. He doesn’t let things get in his way. He is probably the biggest influence towards: do what you want to do, keep going, and don’t let things get in your way,” she said.