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Honoring The Life Of Mr. Ethime Emonina

Rep. Terri Sewell

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of a great Alabamian and resident of the Seventh Congressional District, Mr. Ethime Emonina who passed away July 10, 2011 at the young age of 34. Mr. Emonina was a remarkable educator, mentor, musician and inspiration to all who encountered him.

As a band instructor in the Tuscaloosa City Schools system, he inspired students to excel in their musical craft and to pursue their dreams of becoming musicians. He encouraged countless students to attend college, many on band scholarships. His unique style and spirit warmed the hearts of many, and his trademark smile could not help but solicit a smile in return.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 18, 1977, to Mr. and Mrs. Godwin and Lucy Eldridge Emonina, he displayed an early love for music. His multitude of talent led him to play the trumpet and piano, among many other instruments.

Mr. Emonina graduated from Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1995, where he left his mark as one of the greatest drum majors in the school's history. He went on to earn a B.A. degree from Jackson State University in 2000. Upon receiving this degree, Mr. Emonina began instructing the band at Eastwood Middle school where he remained until he was offered and accepted a position as director of bands at Paul W. Bryant High School in August 2007. He served in this position until his untimely death.

Mr. Emonina, with his love of learning, had just completed and was awarded a Master's degree in Instructional Leadership at the University of West Alabama and was looking forward to applying his degree as an administrator in the Tuscaloosa City School System.

He received numerous awards from childhood to adulthood for excellence in everything from school performance to instructing the band. Mr. Emonina was married to the former Chrishan Garraway and was the father of two children: Christian, age 9 and Ethan, age 2. He was the loving brother of Ovuke and Ventedric Emonina, and was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Over the years, Mr. Emonina has impacted the lives of many students in countless ways. He built a well-deserved reputation as a strict disciplinarian, mentor, teacher, motivator, father figure and friend. He was a true gift to us all and will be missed. His band has a saying, ``Love the band and the band loves you back.'' Mr. Emonina surely loved the band and the band, the community, his family and the people of the Seventh Congressional District, the State of Alabama and this Nation will greatly miss him.

Therefore I, Terri A. Sewell, Representative to the United States Congress from the 7th Congressional District of Alabama, do hereby honor the legacy of Mr. Ethime Emonina for his numerous contributions to the 7th Congressional District, the State of Alabama, and the Nation. I ask all to join me in honoring the life of a remarkable man and commending his many achievements on behalf of the State of Alabama.