OpinionJuly 3, 2024
Celebrating the region's high school valedictorians: Discover their hard work, diverse activities, future plans, and timeless advice for underclassmen. Thanks to First State Community Bank for supporting this special feature.

For the past few weeks in the Weekend Good Times section, we have been highlighting the region's high school valedictorians.

We particularly enjoy this annual project for a few reasons.

One, these successful students remind us that hard work pays off. Earning the top spot in your high school class doesn't just happen, and it certainly doesn't happen overnight. It takes four years of focus, study and diligence.

Two, look at the activities these students participated in, and you'll see well-rounded young people. Academic clubs and organizations such as National Honor Society and Beta Club. Social organizations such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Athletics ranging from baseball and softball to volleyball and track and field.

Three, it's always interesting to see the variety of future paths these soon-to-be adults have charted for themselves. Many of them have planned out their entire academic career and know what profession they want to enter. There will always be a chance to change course, but having a goal in mind gives them another reward to earn.

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Finally, we ask a question of these valedictorians that provide a peek into what they learned during their high school years outside of their textbooks — what advice would they give underclassmen. Their answers almost always include advice most of us should take to heart: Don't take anything for granted; enjoy the moment because it passes quickly; don't be afraid to try new things.

Pretty solid advice.

Congratulations to all our valedictorians. We wish them continued success in the next chapters of their life.

And thanks to our sponsor, First State Community Bank, for making the extended coverage possible.

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