Operation Valedictorian: Happy Valley has six

John Thompson • Updated May 25, 2018 at 9:04 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Happy Valley High School had yet another reason to be happy this year, with an abundance of valedictorians for the Class of 2018.

When the class had its commencement exercises on May 19, it was led by six valedictorians: Johnathon Logan Ayers; Bailey Jeanne Hall; Bailey Nichole Helmick; Kaitlyn Shay Roberts; Elizabeth Carly White and Hannah Elizabeth Younce.

Each of the six valedictorians finished with a 4.0 grade point average, but Principal Bernie Young said that didn’t mean they were taking easy courses to keep up their average. In his speech introducing the valedictorians during the commencement ceremony, the principal said all six were enrolled in the toughest courses at the school, including advance placement courses and dual enrollment.

The valedictorians were asked by the Johnson City Press to answer three questions; the responses from White were not available for this story.

Johnathon Ayers is the son of John Ayers and Kristin McKee-Ayers. He served on the yearbook staff and the Honors Society. He also participated as an officer for Happy Valley’s HOSA-Future Health Professionals program. He also found time to play golf.

What will you remember most about high school?

“I will remember all of the good experiences I’ve encountered. I have made friendships that have helped me become the person I am today. My parents have done this as well; they are both fantastic people who I couldn’t have gone through this process without. I have made memories throughout these past four years that I will never forget.”

Who do you think you will be in 10 years?

“In the next 10 years, I imagine myself being a nurse practitioner. I enjoy helping people as much as I can, so I think a career in nursing is well suited for doing that.”

What has been your inspiration to succeed in school?

“By far my biggest inspiration for succeeding in school has been my parents. They have pushed me to work as far as I can in my education. They have both taken fantastic care for me, so the least I can do for them is maintain the path they had intended me to go down. I love them both very much.”

Bailey Hall is the daughter of Kevin and Beth Hall. Her older brother is Wyatt Hall. She enjoys going to the gym, running, golf, HOSA-Future Health Professionals and the National Honor Society. She will be continuing her education at East Tennessee State University.

What will you remember most about high school?

“My friends that I have gained through my high school years is what will always stick with me. The people I have gotten close with in those four years are now my family.”

Who do you think you will be in 10 years?

“In 10 years, I hope to either be working as a registered nurse in a hospital or doing travel nursing.”

What has been your inspiration to succeed in school?

“I have always wanted to be the best person I can be, so trying hard in school is one way to show that. My parents have also pushed me to give my 100 percent toward my education. Free college was also a big determining factor on why I have put so much effort into my education.”

Bailley Helmick is the daughter of Gene and Kim Helmick. Her older sisters are Lauren Helmick and Taylor Helmick. Her extracurricular activities include French Club, HOSA-Future Health Professionals, National Honors Society, pep club and golf. She will continue her education at East Tennessee State University.

What will you remember most about high school?

“I think I’ll remember the things that happen not necessarily directly related to education. All the late night drives to get ice cream with my friends, quick trips to the beach, going to Amigos after football games, and everything in between. It’s all the laughter and smiles throughout high school that I’ll remember the most.”

Who do you think you’ll be in ten years?

“I don’t necessarily know who I’ll be, but I can tell you what I hope to be. I hope to be happy and put forth so much love and joy with whatever I’m doing. I want to be spreading nothing but happiness. I hope to have a career that I can be around infants or children and to bring joy into their life. I want to be doing that for not only the next ten years, but the rest of my life.”

What has been your inspiration to success in school?

“I worked hard to make my parents proud, and I worked a lot for myself. I wanted to be the best version of myself for myself. I also did it for my future children. I want them to look back on me to motivate themselves when they feel like giving up, because at some point they will. ‘If mom can’t do it, I can do it.’ ”

Kaitlyn Roberts is the daughter of Michael and Donna Roberts. Her extracurricular activities included volleyball, basketball, softball, hiking, snowboarding, and fishing. She has been involved with HOSA-Future Health Professionals, the Letterman Club, The Outdoor Club, National Honors Society and Youth Leadership.

What will you remember most about high school?

“For me personally, high school has impacted me in a way that I will carry with me forever. I think the thing I will remember most about high school are all the sports I was involved in. I played volleyball, basketball, and last but not least, softball at Happy Valley High school. During these years, I learned numerous things, not just about the sport itself, but how they can teach you more about character, teamwork, dedication, and much more that I will forever be thankful for. Playing on my high school teams gave me friendships and memories that I will cherish forever and I will never forget the times I spent playing sports.”

Who do you think you will be in 10 years?

“In 10 years, I'm not exactly sure who I will be, but I do I have hopes and dreams of who I wish to be. I wish to be someone who stays true to herself. Someone who always works hard and puts her everything into any task she takes on. Someone who is kind and humble. And lastly, someone who is a family person. Where she puts other people before herself. But most importantly, I wish to be happy, appreciative, and grateful for everything that God has blessed me with.”

What has been your inspiration to succeed in school?

“My inspiration to succeed in school comes from a trait in me to always be the best I can be in anything I set my eyes on. I sometimes can be a perfectionist, which at times is internally frustrating, but has gotten me to where I am today. My parents have always done all that they could to give me everything possible and for that I am forever thankful. For me to succeed in my academics is just one way that I can thank them, and let them know that everything they have given up for me has paid off.”

Hannah Younce is the daughter of Joel and Renie Younce. Her extracurricular activities include golf, HOSA-Future Health Professionals, yearbook staff, National Honors Society, and a certified nursing program. She has also been a member of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department Clean Teens and Youth Leadership through Milligan College. She will be continuing her education at East Tennessee State University.

What will you remember most about high school?

“What I will remember most about high school is definitely the people. I was blessed to have had amazing teachers throughout my four years at Happy Valley that were always so helpful and encouraging, and I have created friendships with fellow classmates that I will never forget with memories that will last a lifetime.”

Who do you think you will be in 10 years?

“I have many goals set for myself in the next 10 years. It starts with me attending ETSU this Fall, and working towards being accepted into the nursing program. I plan on earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing, then continuing on to become a nurse practitioner. However, I have more plans than just my education, of course. Most importantly, I hope to get married and become a mother as well.”

What has been your inspiration to succeed in school?

“My inspiration to succeed in school comes from my own motivation and the examples set by the people that surround me that I respect the most. One of my biggest goals was to try to have my college education paid for by making myself eligible for as much scholarship money that I could possibly get because my parents have done so much to support me throughout my school years, and I do not want them to have to pay a dime for my education. Also, seeing my parents and many of my family members achieve great things academically and in their jobs has been a real motivator for me to follow in their footsteps.”

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