Top of the Class
Area high schools have chosen their top graduates for special honors at graduation ceremonies across the county this month. They will be recognized and speak to audiences at those ceremonies.
The valedictorian is the student who maintained the highest grade point average (GPA) on a four-point scale over four years of high school. The salutatorian earned the second highest average and the historian the third.
Magee High School
Magee High School has named Lauren Burkes as the valedictorian of the Class of 2018.
Burkes earned a 100.783 average in her four years at MHS for a GPA of 4.0. In addition, she is a member of the Magee High School Trojan Band, BETA Club and the National Honor Society and has been a Superintendent’s Scholar.
She is the daughter of Susan Warren and Michael Warren and the granddaughter of Judy McCurdy.
She plans to attend USM to study computer science in route to becoming a programmer.
Mac Anderson will serve as salutatorian of the Class of 2018. He is the son of James and Stacey Anderson and the grandson of James and Peggy Garner.
Anderson was the 2017-2018 STAR Student at Magee High School and was a Superintendent’s Scholar and a BETA Club and National Honor Society member. He was a team captain for the 2017-2018 Trojan Football Team and was president of the Book Club.
He plans to attend Mississippi State University and says he hopes to eventually land a co-op position with an engineering firm as he studies aerospace engineering.
Serving as historian, Madison May has been a member of the National Honor Society, the 22+ Club, BETA Club and Phi Theta Kappa. She was selected for the 2017 Class of Future Leaders of Simpson County.
She was a Student Council representative for three years, a member of the Trojan Band and a varsity dheerleader. She is also an all-superior pianist.
Madison plans to attend Co-Lin on her quest to become a nurse anesthetist.
She is the daughter of Will and Laura May and the late Tracy Thornton. Her grandparents are Judy and Kenneth Hall and William and Pat May.
Simpson County Academy
SCA’s valedictorian for the Class of 2018 is Sarah Berry, daughter of Michael and Belinda Berry of Magee.
In addition to earning the highest four-year average in the Senior Class, Berry participated in the Mississippi Scholars program and was a member of Mu Alpha Theta.
She was a Student Council representative for five years, president of the Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior classes and junior high president, and served as president, vice-president and secretary-treasurer of the Honor Society.
She was chosen for the Simpson County Future Leaders in 2017, City of Magee Mayor’s Youth Council of 2016, and the Old Miss APEX Leadership Summit of 2017.
Berry’s additional extra-curricular activities include National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), God’s Girls, and Mu Alpha Theta. She has participated in the Mississippi Baptist Bible Drill for nine years.
She plans to attend Mississippi College next fall to begin work on a degree in biology-pre-med with hopes of going to medical school to pursue a career in the medical field.
Bayleigh Prather will serve as the 2018 salutatorian. She is a Mississippi Scholars program participant, was recognized for high honors and was a member of Mu Alpha Theta.
Prather served as treasurer of both the Junior and Senior classes. She was also a member of SADD, FCA, FBLA, God’s Girls, Diamond Girls, National Honor Society 2017 Future Leaders of Simpson County and the Varsity Basketball Team.
In her time away from school, she participates in Bible drills, plays piano and enjoys activities with the Corinth Baptist Church youth group.
She plans to attend Mississippi State University with an undecided major.
Prather is the daughter of Vic and Angie Prather and the granddaughter of J. K. and Linda Winstead and Chester and Mary Prather.
Callie Slover, daughter of Rusty and Beverly Slover, has earned the position of historian.
She is a high honors student and a participant in the Mississippi Scholars program and Mu Alpha Theta.
At school she participates in SADD, FCA, FBLA, Diamond Dolls and National Honor Society. She is a member of the ACT 25 Club and was a member of the 2017 Future Leaders of Simpson County. She was also a member of the Varsity Cheer Team and the Archery Team.
This year she served as Senior Class president and was Junior Class vice-president in 2016-2017.
Away from school, she says she enjoys traveling and going to concerts.
Slover plans to attend the University of Mississippi to major in biology.
Mendenhall High School
The valedictorian of the Mendenhall High School Class of 2018 is Emily Diane Holder.
She is a President’s Scholar, a Suerintendent’s Scholar, a Mississippi Tech Scholar, a participant in the Mississippi Scholars Program and a member of the Mendenhall High School Hall of Fame.
Holder has been student body vice-president, president of both HOSA and Mu Alpha Theta and vice-president of the National Honor Society. She is a member of BETA Club, FCCLA, FBLA and the National Technical Honor Society. She served as cheer captain of the MHS 2017-2018 Varsity Cheer Team.
She is a member of First Baptist Church of Mendenhall.
Holder plans to attend Co-Lin to work toward an associate’s degree, then continue her education at USM to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology before applying to the University of Mississippi Medical Center to work towards a doctorate in occupational therapy.
Her parents are Jennifer and Michael Hartwick and the late Ricky Holder. Her grandparents are Richard and Diane Jones and Harold and Syliva Holder.
Logan Chapman has earned the position of salutatorian for the Class of 2018.
His parents are Brian and Laura Chapman and Nicole and Trey Hall.
He is an honor roll student and a participant in the Mississippi Scholars program. He has been selected as Class Friendliest and Most Intellectual, and he was chosen to the Hall of Fame for 2018. He is a member of the Mendenhall Tiger Band.
After graduation, he plans to attend Jones County Community College, then transfer to MSU to major in mechanical engineering.
This year’s historian is Michael C. Smith, son of Genette Smith.
He was president of this year’s Senior Class. He is a member of the National Honor Society, BETA Club, Mu Alpha theta, FFA, FCCLA, DECA, 4H and the Archery Team. He also participated in speech and debate and public speaking. He is a member of the NAACP.
This fall he plans to attend Co-Lin for two years, then transfer to MSU to major in chemical engineering.