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Unaka Class of 2019 has six valedictorians

John Thompson • Updated Jun 1, 2019 at 12:27 AM

ELIZABETHTON — Unaka High School enjoyed a lot of success this year, from starting a real branch bank operated by students, to state recognition for the accomplishments of the school’s Key Club, to extending the number of years in which a Roan Scholar has included a Unaka graduate.

The year’s successes at Unaka also includes six valedictorians in the Class of 2019.

The valedictorians are: Jacob Bowers, son of David and Katina Bowers; Katie Carter, daughter of Vicky and Mike Carter; Britney Hodge, daughter of Trampass and Selina Hodge; Myah Parlier, daughter of Kim and Dayton Buckles; John Ramsey, son of John and Christa Ramsey; and Taylor Shanks, daughter of Daryl and Brooke Shanks.

While these students excelled in academics, each achieving perfect grade point averages of 4.0, they did not try to keep their lofty scores by taking easy courses. They took the difficult courses and did the difficult work.

What were some of the hard courses you took?

Bowers: “I took problems in statistics and advanced placement courses.”

Carter: ”I took dual enrollment courses at Northeast State Community College in problem statistics, and English composition I and II.”

Hodge: “I had dual enrollment courses in psychology, English composition I, problem statistics.”

Parlier: “I took dual enrollment in English composition I and I had advanced placement biology.”

Ramsey: “I took advanced placement courses in precalculus and advanced English.”

Shanks: “I took dual enrollment at Northeast State in English composition I and problem statistics.”

You have obviously been working hard on academics, but what other non-athletic activities have you participated in at Unaka?

Bowers participated for two years in the PBS television show “East Tennessee Scholars Bowl.” He also served as president of the Future Business Leaders of America his senior year.

Carter began preparing for a career in nursing by taking several health science courses. She also earned her certified nursing assistance credential.

Hodge was a part of Unaka High School Key Club, which has been recognized with 16 trophies for outstanding achievements by the state-level Kiwanis Club, including being named the top club in the Tennessee and Kentucky District for service. Hodge served as vice president of the Unaka Club her junior year and president her senior year. She was also president of the Tennessee and Kentucky District of the Key Club.

In other clubs, Hodge served as president for two years of the Unaka chapter of Family Career Community Leaders of America; was selected as a member of Carter County Youth Leadership; and for the past two years worked Wirth the Carter County Sheriff’s Auxiliary.

Shanks will keep Unaka’s string of having a Roan Scholar at East Tennessee State University. The scholarship is among the most prestigious at the university and a Unaka Ranger has been among the ranks of Roan scholars at the school for the past eight years. With Shanks now receiving the award and planning to study clinical rehabilitation there, its appears the string of Unaka Ranger Roan Scholars will extend to 12 years.

With your athletic success at Unaka, what academic scholarship did you receive?

Ramsey will continue his outstanding academic career by playing baseball at King University. Ramsey was an outstanding pitcher for the Ranger team and also was a second baseman.

Ramsey also excelled in basketball and was an outstanding quarterback on the Ranger football team and signed a scholarship to play football for Erskine College. before making his decision to make baseball his sport for his future.

Parlier will continue her athletic career with a scholarship to play basketball at William Jennings Bryan College in Dayton. She plays center and forward.

Where do you plan to earn your baccalaureate?

Bowers: East Tennessee State University.

Carter: East Tennessee State University.

Hodge: East Tennessee State University.

Parlier: William Jennings Bryan College.

Ramsey: King University.

Shanks: East Tennessee State University.

What will you study and what are your career plans?

Bowers: “I am interested in computer science and being a software engineer.”

Carter: “I am interested in nursing.”

Hodge is interested in social work and a career in Child Protective Services.

Parlier in interested in criminal justice and psychology. She would like a career in law enforcement or criminal investigation in an agency like the FBI.

Ramsey is interested in sports science.

Shanks plans to use her Roan Scholarship to study clinical rehabilitation. Her career may include a masters in speedh pathology and work in that field.

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