Words by Anna Lee Vaughn | Images by Justin Hunter
A typical day in the life of Dora High School senior Anna Brooke Dill looks something like this:
- Go to school
- Attend health sciences class at the Walker County Center of Technology
- Head back to Dora for more classes
- Band practice
How does Anna Brooke make time for all these things? The answer is simple: she’s found her motive. Her job at Taco Bell is helping her save up for college while giving her a little extra spending money. Her health sciences class brings her one step closer to becoming an Endocrinologist so she can help people like herself who deal with Type 1 diabetes. High school band has been her niche ever since her freshman year; it brought upon the events that led to her becoming Dora Marching Band’s drum major, though that wasn’t her original plan.
“I did dance during my freshman and sophomore years, and while trying out for the next year, I tore my ACL. So, I went to Mr. McFall, my band director, and I was like, ‘Look, I love being in the band. Is there anything that I can do?’ And that’s when he told me to try out for Drum Major,” Anna Brooke recalls.
She endured surgery, physical therapy, and a tough recovery, eventually being able to serve as a backfield conductor for the band during her junior year. Out of all her high school band memories, Anna Brooke says tearing her ACL is a memory that will never leave her. However, her best memory is winning Best in Class at her first band competition as drum major; this award is also a goal for her senior year.
Anna Brooke’s favorite thing about being Drum Major is teaching her bandmates new things, like marching or dancing, and seeing their happiness when they master a new skill. “I always tell them to stay positive, and I stay positive with them and encourage them to keep going. It’s not always about criticizing. You can find a positive in everything,” she says.
Anna Brooke is also part of Dora High School’s Beta Club and softball team, and she uses her CPR and first-aid certifications as a mat maid for the wrestling team. This year, Anna Brooke will go through clinicals to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and afterwards, hopefully attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) just like her brothers did.
And just as Anna Brooke has learned, she tells others, “If you don’t know why you’re doing something and you don’t love it, take a break. Find the reason you’re doing it and stick with it; find your motive.” WL