“The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.” ? Vince Lombardi Jr.
Those words from the legendary Green Bay Packers football coach could easily describe what has driven the top 20 students of the Rowan County Senior High School Class of 2013. For each of them, those words became a way of life.
Too often, many people over the age of 30 tend to dismiss teenagers, thinking that they never listen to their elders, that they think only of the present and must constantly be prodded to stay on track. This is certainly not the case when it comes to Rowan County Senior High School’s top 20. The students are, in alphabetical order: Shelby Adams, T.J. Adkins, Arlo Barnette, Logan Blevins, Matthew Catron, Andrew Click, Jordan Cornett, Morgan Cyrus, Shane Flanagan, Brandon Hutchinson, Carl Johnson, Bradley Kim, Hannah Neeper, Thuy Nguyen, Casey Phillips, Chloe Phillips, Amy Roe, Jordan Sands, Josie Sloan, Cassidy Teager. For these twenty students, the lessons of “doing one’s best” and “having a plan” have been a guiding force.
When asked what it means to them to be recognized as one of the top 20 students of their graduating class, many of the answers spoke about their hard work.
- “It means that everything has finally paid off, from late nights cramming in a few more problems to forcing myself to stare at a textbook while on the volleyball bus.” – Shelby Adams
- “Not only is this an honor, I am also very proud of my academic accomplishments.” – Amy Roe
- “This is such a high honor and a huge reward for the effort that I put in these past 4 years.” – Casey Phillips
- “It shows that my hard work has paid off.” – Cassidy Teager
- “I am honored to be listed in the top 20. I feel grateful to this school for providing me the platform I needed to succeed.” – Arlo Barnette
Achieving a high GPA or grade point average does not always mean getting straight As on every test or report card, as many of these top 20 students can attest to. It does, however, mean challenging yourself. For some students, it has meant going to Morehead State University as part of the college cohort program. For others, the challenge came in keeping up with their classes as well as extra-curricular activities or, for some, an outside job. In reading how these students achieved and maintained their high GPAs, it is easy to understand how these students enjoy a challenge.
- “It took perseverance, dedication, good study skills, and having fun in class.” – Thuy Nguyen
- “It took hard work, studying, and doing things even when I didn’t want to.” – Hannah Neeper
- “It took a lot of hard work and many hours of studying.” – Matthew Catron
- “I put my schoolwork as my main priority and decided not to be satisfied with being average.” – T.J. Adkins
- “I always worked hard and tried to be the best student I possibly could.” – Andrew Click
- “My parents supported and encouraged me in my educational endeavors. Parental involvement in crucial when it comes to a child’s education.” – Chloe Phillips
- “Hard work and determination is what it takes to come out on top. It’s not the easiest route, but if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.” – Logan Blevins
- “It took a lot of studying and determination.” – Brandon Hutchinson
What would some of these top 20 students have to offer as words of advice to the incoming freshman class at Rowan County Senior High School?
- “Study and have a good work ethic.” – Bradley Kim
- “Try not to get too disappointed when things don’t go as planned.” – Shane Flanagan
- “High school is completely different than middle school. Every grade you get your freshman year will follow you all the way to college.” – Carl Johnson
- “Try to apply and challenge yourself though school because it will help you later in life.” – Morgan Cyrus
- “Don’t forget to turn things in on time, pay attention in class and don’t whine.” – Josie Sloan
- “Never give up on your dreams. Set a goal and don’t give up until you reach it.” – Jordan Cornett
- “Stay focused and never give up. Remember that hard work and determination means much more than swag.” – Jordan Sands
Plans for the future vary for these students, but you can be guaranteed that these students have the drive to succeed.
Shelby Adams, daughter of Michael and Patsy Adams, will be attending Kentucky Christian University and complete a double major in Bible studies and nursing with hopes of becoming a flight nurse;
T.J. Adkins, son of Jackie Smith and Tom Adkins, will be attending Western Kentucky University and wants to become a doctor, specializing in sports medicine;
Arlo Barnette, son of George and Bonnie Barnette, will attend Morehead State University and wants to become a musician and a professor of English, music or physics;
Logan Blevins, son of Stephen and Kathy Blevins, will be attending the University of Kentucky and hopes to become a hardware or software systems engineer;
Matthew Catron, son of Duane and Angela Catron, will be majoring in political science at the University of Kentucky and plans for a career as an international affairs specialist;
Andrew Click, son of Stan and Jane Click, has been accepted to the University of Kentucky and wants to become a mining engineer;
Jordan Cornett, son of Danny and Penny Cornett, will attend Lincoln Trail College and wants to become a successful pharmacist;
Morgan Cyrus, daughter of Steve and Vivian Cyrus, will attend Transylvania University and hopes to become an interior designer with her own business;
Shane Flanagan, son of Evelyn Flanagan and Gary Flanagan, wants to become a pharmacist and will be attending Morehead State University;
Brandon Hutchinson, son of Allen and Michelle Hutchinson, plans to attend Morehead State University;
Carl Johnson, son of Scott Johnson and Teresa Lindgren, wants to become a mechanical engineer and will be attending the University of Kentucky;
Bradley Kim, son of Euijin and Myung Sun Kim, will be attending the University of Louisville and wants to work in the field of computer science ;
Hannah Neeper, daughter of Carol and Layne Neeper, will be attending Western Kentucky University and hopes to be successful in international politics;
Thuy Nguyen, salutatorian of the Class of 2013 and daughter of Hung Tien and Bich Ngoc Nguyen, will major in chemistry at Morehead State University and hopes to become a pharmacist;
Casey Phillips, daughter of Mary Phillips and Richard Phillips, plans to study music and medicine at the University of Kentucky;
Chloe Phillips, daughter of Mark Phillips and Jennifer Little, will be attending Georgetown University to study international economics and languages;
Amy Roe, daughter of Russ and Kay Roe, plans to attend Northern Kentucky University and wants to pursue a career in a business-related field;
Jordan Sands, son of Roger and Kimberly Sands, plans for a successful career after attending Morehead State University ;
Josie Sloan, daughter of Lori Dickerson and Tim Sloan, will attend Morehead State University and wants to work in the field of comic and video game design;
Cassidy Teager, valedictorian of the Class of 2013 and daughter of Glen and Ann Teager, will be attending the University of Kentucky with plans to pursue a career in physical therapy.
Brandy Breeze, assistant principal at Rowan County Senior High School, said of the top 20 students of the Class of 2013, “These students deserve to be celebrated for their discipline and good decisions in learning with their teachers throughout the past 12 years. They have taken advantage of the education this district offered them and, for that reason, I know they will be prepared to compete in any field of study they choose.”
The top 20 students of Rowan County Senior High School’s Class of 2013 have the drive to succeed, understand the meaning of doing one’s best, and truly exemplify the words of Hamilton Holt: “Hard work is the only way to accomplish results that last.” Congratulations.