William Byrd High School held its annual Senior Awards Banquet at Braeloch in Vinton on May 7.
Principal Tammy Newcomb welcomed the honors students— proud of them and proud to be their principal. She commended Senior Sponsor Whitney Puckett for her efforts in coordinating the event. Puckett in turn introduced Analee Huber, candidate for valedictorian, who was chosen by her peers as guest speaker at the banquet.
Huber is a member of the Beta Club, a seven-year member of the Lady Terriers softball program, and a three-year member of the National Speech and Debate Society. She plans to study experimental neuroscience at Virginia Tech next fall pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor specializing in medical research.
In her remarks, Huber reminded her fellow graduates of their diversity and that they are the future, “all the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today.” She encouraged them to instill what they have learned into someone else, to plant the seeds of the future and nourish those seeds as they have been nurtured themselves by family, teachers, and mentors.
Assistant Principal Aric Palazzola recognized honor graduates with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to 3.99 at the end of the first semester with accolades and regalia to be worn at graduation ceremonies on June 8.
Those outstanding students included Hannah Abshire, Saylor Alaniz, Miguel Antivero, Ashton Ashley, Amber Asten, John Asten, Jeremy Barlow, Carlie Beard, Mackenzie Beard, Maggie Bennett, Jeffrey Bodle, Samantha Bostic, Tristan Brady, Josephine Brandimore, Zachary Bray, Courtney Brown, Madelyn Brown, Jared Brown, Kyler Browning, Bryson Byrd, Madison Byrd, Taylor Campbell, Caleb Carawan, Saje Carter, Alexis Conner, Katie Corrao, Yari Corsi’Carmona, Madeleine Craig, Adam Creasy, Thomas Curro, Armando Damian, Cameron Davis, Taylor Dennison, Chloe Doss, Steven Ellis, Robert Evans, Allison Faulkner, Natalie Ferguson, Preston Flick, Khalil Fonder, Haleigh Foutz, Lindsey Galliher, Rebecca Geisler, Savannah Gheen, Alyson Gilmer, Abigail Gordon, Sara Graham, Jordan Gray, Carla Graybill, Taylor Guilliams, Drew Hale, Gillian Hale, Alexa Harmon, Chance Harrison, Lauren Heck, Sarah Hedrick, Chandler Henderson, Darien Hildebeidel, Trevor Hill, Michael Hodges, Asia Holland, Madison Horacek, Sarah Howard, Wahshee Htoo, Andrew Hudick, Andrew Hurd, Briona Hurt, Morgan Hutchens, Victoria Johnson, Heidi Kalinke, Brittney Keaton, Elizabeth Kelley, Kyra Kelly, Deanna Kitts, Katherine Large, Molly Letchford, Abbie Lewis, Cullen Livingstone, Cody Marks, Beatriz Martinez, Jacy Marvin, Brittney Mathis, Ava McClung, Hannah McInturff, Josette McMillan, Keenan McNamara, Christopher Merchant, Ashlee Monk, Kinley Moore, Baylee Morton, Bryce Mullen, Hunter Musselwhite, Ashton Neil, Tina Nguyen, Kayla Nichols, Vincent Noto, Greyson Nunley, Arianna Oliver, Hamaan Parker, Meet Patel, Natalia Peace, Sydney Perrington, Bradford Postles, Justin Powers, Marykate Price, Allison Purcell, Lyndlee Renick, Wachiraphon Sareekun, Jasmine Scales, Grace Scott, Kaidyn Settles, Dalton Shepherd, Deven Shepherd, Kaley Shoemaker, Casey Smith, Loyd Smith, Ellasen Spangler, Christopher Spano, Callie St. Claire, Rashanda, Stovall, Logan Taylor, Kaylee Tuck, Jordan Wells, Kyle Westland, Amaya Wilhelm, Danielle Witcher, Miles Wren, and Kayleigh Wyatt.
Assistant Principal Marcee Cook recognized the candidates for valedictorian at the end of the first semester with 4.0+ GPA’s. They include: Jasmine Allinson, Ozioma Anyanwu, Zachary Aylor, Tabitha Beecher, Brooke Blankenship, Elena Boitnott, Kayland Bond, Ana Boush, Andrew Brooks, Emily Brooks, Bailey Browning, Julia Burek, Ryan Buxton, Tanner Claybrook, Haley Cook, Jasmine Crawford, Austin Dickson, Caleb Divers, Brenna Donahue, Everett Fletchall, Kathleen Fuchs, Tabitha Gills, Sophie Griffin, Macey Grisso, Reilly Hatfield, Joshua Hilliard, Jackson Honaker, Analee Huber, Kavya Iyer, Luis Jerez, Luke Johnston, Marissa Kopera, Autumn Martin, Lexis Mason, Courtney Palmer, Evamarie Pascoe, Claire Pennington, Richard Qiu, Seth Robertson, Jeanette Sako, Laura Schneider, Justin Seymore, Hannah Shelton, Hannah Sowers, Abby Spotswood, Mara Strum, Aalysa Stuckey, Payton Taylor, Whitney Tickle, Sarah Tyus, Alexis West, Kathryn Woodson, and Tessa Yarbrough.
Each year, each department selects one outstanding senior who maintains good academic standards in that department, displays good character, and contributes constructively to the class, department, and school. These students are recommended by teachers in the individual departments and their selection is based on a consensus vote by those teachers. The selections are revealed at the Honors Banquet.
Department Award winners for 2018 are:
- Air Force JROTC: Jasmine Allinson
- Burton Center for Arts and Technology: Bailey Browning
- Art: Ashlee Monk
- Band: Josephine Brandimore
- Business: Kayland Bond
- Choir: Madeline Craig
- Computer Science: Seth Robertson
- Drama: Thomas Curro
- English: Natalie Ferguson
- Family and Consumer Science: Katherine Large
- French: Ozioma Anyanwu
- German: Kayleigh Wyatt
- Latin: Abby Spotswood
- Marketing: Elena Boitnott
- Math: Richard Qiu
- Physical Education: Casey Smith
- Photojournalism: Emily Brooks
- Science: Kavya Iyer
- Social Sciences: Cullen Livingstone
- Social Studies: Payton Taylor
- Spanish: Kathleen Fuchs
- Technology Education: Adam Creasy
The final awards of the evening were for Best All-Around Male and Best All-Around Female. These coveted honors are based first on academic success and secondly on good character and a consistently good attitude. The students have participated in a variety of academic and extracurricular activities. Selection is determined by a faculty vote.
Denny Dickens from the Vinton Host Lions Club presented the Best All-Around Male award in the Class of 2018 to Cullen Livingstone. Livingstone was described by his teachers as a young man known by all for his hard work in the classroom, who serves as a role model for his peers and truly appreciates his education. He will be remembered by his peers for his fiery spirit, commanding voice and competitive spirit as a member of the student “Dog Pound” during athletic events.
His love for this community is seen in numerous areas as well, many of which manifest as leadership positions. These include the Senior Council, Yearbook Staff, Distributive Education Clubs of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Lefty Club, and Future Business Leaders of America. A special reverence is also witnessed on Sunday mornings where he aids in the music presentation at his church.
As an athlete, he has also been a member of the varsity basketball team for all four years of his time with Byrd. “He leaves behind him a legacy of true sportsmanship where his character is a shining beacon of what all underclassmen should aspire to in their own athletics.
“Beyond all his accomplishments, and perhaps most importantly, he lives his life with integrity. This student is revered by faculty and staff for his kind, polite, and down to earth personality. His character has shown time and time again that he is always willing to go the extra mile, be the first to volunteer, and never shy away from someone in need. His lasting mark on Byrd may not always be visible to the eye, but it will live on in the hearts of all those who were uplifted by his presence on the court, in the classroom, and in our community. As he travels to college in the fall, we are sure his positive impact on our world will only grow with the passing of each year.”
Lois Creasy from the Vinton Woman’s Club introduced the Best All-Around Female for 2018, Carly Graybill.
In choosing Graybill, her teachers commented, “To say that we are impressed with this year’s faculty choice for Best All- Around Female would be an understatement. She has maintained a high GPA and will most likely become a Valedictorian by the end of the school year. Additionally, she will receive the highest diploma possible upon graduation and is a Governor’s Seal and an Early College Scholar Recipient. She gives much of her time to serving others outside of school and is a member of the Beta Club, Latin Club, the Speech and Debate Honor Society, and the FBLA.
“While all of these distinctions may be expected from a best all-around candidate, this year’s best all-around female recipient has accomplished all of them and much more while battling challenging heath issues her entire life and high school career.
“We’ve seen her at homecomings, proms, as a member of the Dogwood Court, and football games. We’ve seen her cheering on teams in the Dog Pound, and we’ve seen her sporting her VW bug all around town. Well, next year that VW bug is going to take her to Roanoke College where she will pursue a degree in teaching, and we may, one day, see her again at the prom, homecoming, or in the Dog Pound, just as one of our colleagues.
“She hasn’t had an easy road, but she has never let it stop her. Nor has she ever asked for any special treatment or special considerations. She is, simply put, ‘Living her life.’”