Pickens High School will be a very busy spot this Saturday, as the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2012 is set to take place starting at 9:00 a.m. Two of the star seniors that will play a prominent role in the ceremony are Erin Hancock and Brooke Smith, who are the valedictorian and salutatorian for this year’s class. I sat down with Erin and Brooke and had the opportunity to see what motivated them in high school and what their futures hold in store. Earning the chance to have the highest GPA calls for a tremendous work ethic from freshman to senior year. Who or what inspired you to work so hard?
“My parents really inspired me because they wanted me to make good grades from the time I was little, so I listened to them.”
“My parents inspired me the most. In fifth grade my mom told me that I could be valedictorian or salutatorian, and I didn’t believe her; then she was right [laughs].”
This year the difference in being named valedictorian and salutatorian was nine-one hundredths of a point. What do you think that this small margin between these two honors says about the best Pickens High has to offer?
“I think that anyone in the top ten [in the class], really, could have made it, so we’re all very intelligent.”
“I think that, overall, the top five people are really close. It just says a lot about the work ethic and ability of the students at Pickens High School.”
What advice would you give to the underclassmen who would like to find themselves in your shoes one day?
“Make good grades, listen to your teachers, and don’t do stupid stuff on the weekends [laughs].”
“I would definitely tell them to work hard. I wish I would have worked a little harder throughout all of high school instead of just towards the end because it pays off, not just in high school, but also in college.”
What are your future plans?
“I plan on going to Berry College in Rome. I’m going to major in biochemistry as of right now, but I could easily change my mind.”
“In the fall I’m going to the Word of Life Bible Institute in Hudson, Florida for a year-long intensive Bible study, and then I’m planning to go to Mercer University to study pre-med.”