Governor and Addyson Schouest chat

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday asked 10-year-old Jackson County resident Addyson Schouest to sing The National Anthem for the Cabinet early next year in Tallahassee.

Photo courtesy Michelle Schouest

Gov. Rick Scott has invited a local youngster to sing The National Anthem next month for the Cabinet, soon after session begins.

It was an off-the-cuff offer, made Monday, when Scott struck up a conversation with 10-year-old Addyson Schouest, a few minutes after he’d given her grandfather a medal for his service as a Funeral Honor Guard member. Milton Schouest and other members of the American Legion Post 241 Honor Guard received the medals when Scott came to Sneads that day in a travel loop around the Panhandle that included Washington, Calhoun, and Gadsden counties.

She’d wanted to have her picture taken with Scott, and the governor obliged. A member of the youngster’s church, Sneads Methodist, was standing nearby when they met, and mentioned that the Riverside Elementary School student, a Grand Ridge resident, often sang patriotic and gospel songs at church. The next thing she knew, she’d snagged her biggest gig ever since she started singing for people at around the age of 4.

“She was speechless,” said her father Michael Schouest. “So was I. Just overwhelmed. It was a big surprise and a big honor. Someone with him gave us the number to call and set it up. We don’t know exactly which day it will be yet, but it will be sometime in January, I think. She’s already thinking about what she’d going to wear.”

He said his daughter has been singing that difficult piece for years and is confident she’ll be ready for her big debut in Tallahassee. Scott also invited her to visit his office the day she sings.

Big surprise

Addyson Schouest reacts Monday to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's invitation to sing The National Anthem for the Cabinet in Tallahassee early next year.--Photo courtesy Michelle Schouest.