The Sun News

Principal goes from audience to stage

Chris McCook, principal of Warner Robins High School, and Nia Robinson will be starring in the school’s production of “Annie.”
Chris McCook, principal of Warner Robins High School, and Nia Robinson will be starring in the school’s production of “Annie.” Special to the Sun News

Chris McCook will be celebrating the end of his first year as principal of Warner Robins High School in a unique way.

He is starring in the school play.

Warner Robins High will be presenting “Annie” as their spring production and McCook has signed on to play Daddy Warbucks.

“I know nothing about acting or drama but when I was asked to do the role, I saw it as a challenge. We talk about setting high expectations here at Warner Robins High School and this was an opportunity to show the kids, to hopefully inspire the kids,” McCook said.

McCook said that being in the play and attending rehearsals has given him a new appreciation of the hard work that goes into producing a high school musical.

“It is easy to stand and cheer at an athletic event, but to be part of something our kids are doing, to see how hard these kids work day in and day out, it has really given me a new perspective,” McCook said.

As an educator, McCook also has an appreciation for the lessons that come from “Annie.”

“Daddy Warbucks falls in love with Annie — just like you do with your school and your students. There is also a message of hope and tomorrow,” McCook said.

Nicholas Sostillio, the drama director at Warner Robins High had a large group of seniors graduate last year, so “Annie” was a good fit for the students in drama this year.

“This is a show that really fits a young group of kids, it has lots of ensembles and is just the perfect showcase for young talent,” Sostillio said.

There is another non-student in the production, Annie’s dog Sandy, will be played by Nova, who belongs to Warner Robins High alum Holly Roberts. Roberts volunteers with the drama department.

McCook’s involvement in the play has invigorated the student body and Sostillio says that he expects big crowds at the play.

“Students want to see him involved in the show, they are excited to see him,” said Sostillio.

Some of the students involved in the production include Nia Robinson, playing Annie; Jante’ Arrington, playing Tessie; Abby Strohmetzkn, playing Molly; Whitney Higginbothom, playing Pepper; Emily Roberts, playing Duffy; Ari Lockett-Williams, playing July; Kimya Flournoy playing Kate; Alexus Mason, playing Miss Hannigan; and Avery Goodwich, playing Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“Annie” will be performed April 27-29 with shows starting at 7:00 p.m. and on April 30 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available in advance or at the door; for more information, contact Nicholas Sostillio at 478-929-7877.

Alline Kent can be contacted at