STEPHENVILLE (May 26, 2017) – Friday the Stephenville High School class of 2017 will graduate and move on to college, jobs, the military or vocational school, and the top students of the class will be honored. This year’s valedictorian is Laura Waldon, a band and debate student with a passion for English.
Waldron graduated with a 104.6 GPA. She found out she was valedictorian a few weeks ago.
“It got called out of class to the principal’s office, and it kind of freaked me out because I hadn’t ever been called into the principal’s office before,” Waldron said. “It was exciting, because I’ve been first in our class for a while. But, this was final. It was actually happening. So it was a great feeling.”
Besides excelling in the classroom, Waldron is involved with SHS band and debate. Waldon joined band her sophomore year of high school after being coerced to play the piano for the band by a friend.
“[The band] needed someone to play the piano, and my friend asked if I was interested, “Waldron said. “She said, “Too bad, because I told the director you said yes.”
Waldron ended up enjoying band and playing percussion. She participated in jazz band and symphonic band. Her only regret from school is not having joined band sooner.
“I’ve met so many wonderful people, and band completely brought me out of my shell and made me who I am today,” Waldron said. “I owe a lot of who I became, all of my accomplishments to band. [The band directors] are all fantastic, and they’re all so different. I feel like they all taught me something different.”
For Waldron a lot of growth came during her junior and senior years of high school. She had always planned on being an engineer because “if you’re smart that is what you do.” This year Waldron realized that she did not want to pursue this path.
But, at the same time, she was discovering a love for English, for which she gives credit to SHS English teacher Stacy Roeming.
“I was always interested in my humanities courses, like history and English,” Waldron said. “Especially junior and senior English. It was philosophy and history and literature, and it all kind of came together. I really enjoyed that.”
Now Waldron will be attending Tarleton State University in the fall as an English major with a minor in philosophy. Waldron will also be participating in the Presidential Honors Program.
“I’m excited about finally choosing courses that I am interested in rather than having to take everything super general, because I have a lot of my dual credit out of the way.”
Waldron is not sure what comes after college for her, but she knows she wants to continue writing.
“I feel writing is what really changes the world,” Waldron said.