Payton Burnette

Payton Burnette: Ready for the stage

Payton Burnette sees herself on the stage, telling stories for her audience.

“I’ve always been into theatre since I was really young. It ties in the dance and singing that I’ve really enjoyed since I was young and it gives me a chance to influence an audience through important stories and to express my own emotions,” she said.

Burnette of Asheboro will be one of 15 incoming freshmen entering East Carolina University in August as EC Scholars — the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers.

She plans to pursue a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theatre and she has already been accepted into that program.

At Asheboro High School Burnette has been active in the Student Council, Park Street Players’ Drama Club, National Honors Society and Interact.
During her high school career, Burnette was on stage for eight “main stage” and eight children’s theatre productions and worked behind-the-scenes for several others. She was named to the N.C. All-State Chorus each year of her high school career through the National Music Educators Association.

She has also been active in her church, Sunset Avenue Church of God, where she sang lead vocals for seven years in the youth band, sang in the adult choir, worked as assistant choreographer for the drama team and served as church children’s minister.

During high school, she took part in two mission trips to West Virginia and New York City and has volunteered with Asheboro Habitat for Humanity and with “Serve Asheboro,” her church’s outreach ministry.

Burnette said she’s excited to move into the honors dorm at ECU and be surrounded by other students excited about their field of study, whatever it may be.

“I’m really looking forward to being in the musical theatre department and being in the honors dorm,” Burnette said. “Coming from a really small town, you don’t really get to be around a lot of people at school with the same goals.”

She is the daughter of Michael and Tracy Burnette of Asheboro.

About EC Scholars

EC Scholars exhibit outstanding academic performance and effective leadership skills. They have opportunities to contribute to faculty-led research studies, engagement in the community andmultiple service activities.
The amount awarded to scholarship recipients is $40,000 ($5,000 per semester for eight continuous semesters). In addition, EC Scholars are provided with a $5,000 stipend to help support their required study abroad experience.

The entering Class of 2015 EC Scholar recipients have completed a rigorous three-tier selection process that includes: meeting the Honors College admissions criteria, having an additional faculty review and completing an on-campus interview.  The incoming EC Scholar recipients have an average math/verbal SAT score of 1307 and an average unweighted GPA of 3.89.

- Jeannine Manning Hutson, ECU News Services