‘Golden hands’

Kenna Davis plays the piano Thursday afternoon at her teacher Alla Latchininsky’s home. In addition to playing the piano, Davis swims, plays volleyball and recently won awards for a quilt she made at the Albany County and Wyoming state fairs.

SHANNON BRODERICK/Boomerang photographer

Seventh-grader Kenna Davis might not like to talk about herself, but those around her love to talk about the straight-A athlete, musician and state fair champion.

The praise stems as much from Kenna’s multidisciplinary accomplishments as the humble, dedicated way she approaches her packed schedule.

“Kenna has a very big heart and she’s a very kind person,” said Alla Latchininsky, Kenna’s piano instructor. “She’s very friendly. I see her with other kids. She’s quiet, but she loves everything she does.”

Kenna has been playing the piano for roughly five years, and Latchininsky said she never misses a recital or ensemble concert. But her musical talents don’t stop at piano — she also plays the drums and sings in the Laramie Middle School Choir.

“She loves to sing,” said Melodie Davis, Kenna’s mother. “So, music is definitely her passion.”

When she’s not playing instruments or singing, Kenna stays active in sports as well, cycling through swimming, volleyball and basketball as their seasons come and go.

But Kenna truly shines in 4-H, where she competes — and often wins — in a number of categories.

Kenna has brought a homemade quilt to the Albany County Fair each of the past three years. In 2017, she won grand champion and went on to win the first-place ribbon at the Wyoming State Fair.

She gave the award-winning quilt — her largest and most complex to date — to her piano instructor.

“It’s a masterpiece and I didn’t expect it was going to be for me,” Latchininsky said. “It’s probably the most beautiful gift I’ve ever had. It’s not only beautiful, but it’s very dear to me because I love Kenna, she’s my student. I tell her she has golden hands, because I tell her she can play piano and she can play drums (and quilt).”

Kenna usually gives away her quilts, her mother said.

“She always seems to know who to pick to give her quilts to,” Melodie said. “A friend of ours has breast cancer and (Kenna) chose to give her quilt last year to our friend. It was purple and green. Our friend said, ‘Everybody always gives me pink everything. I don’t actually like pink. My favorite colors are purple and green.’ Kenna didn’t know that, but it always seems to work out that way.”

Kenna said she finds time to quilt during the summer break from school and sports.

“I work on my quilt during the summer so I have a lot of free time during that,” she said.

The seventh-grader also raises some 12 chickens, which she takes to the county fair as well.

“Last year, for chickens, I got grand champion and this year I got grand champion,” she said. “But with my pig, I didn’t do very well.”

Kenna does most of her activities with her friends. Raising the pig was no exception.

“My friend was going to get one pig,” she said. “But he asked me to get one pig so his pig wouldn’t be lonely.”

Kenna is not afraid to try new things — like raising a pig — or drop something she’s not interested in, her mother said.

“If she doesn’t like it, she’s not going to spend her time doing it,” Melodie said.

That philosophy extends into Kenna’s piano lessons.

“I know Kenna very well,” Latchininsky said. “If she doesn’t like it, she won’t play it.”

Latchininsky and Melodie said they don’t know how Kenna manages to take on — and succeed at — so much, but they are proud she does.

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