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CCHS seniors reflect on time at school

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Seniors at Chilton County High School reflected on their time at the school and on what their future holds during Senior Led Conferences on March 3-4.

Each student wrote out a speech and read it to one of the administrators during the event. Then, the interviewing administrator asked students questions about when they realized they needed to get serious about school, whether they were a leader, if they considered themselves relevant, future plans, etc.

School administrators offered comments and encouragement.

Peyton St. John said she had known since eighth grade that she wanted to be a nurse.

She said she would tell incoming ninth-grade students “to enjoy it (high school) while they can.”

When asked advice for the school, St. John recommended keeping “Blast from the Past” open to students from all of the Chilton County Schools “because that was fun getting to meet new people.”

Claire Staggs and Samantha House talked about the struggles they faced during high school in their speeches. Administrators encouraged them to look to the future and pursue the career they wanted.

“High school helped me realize just how strong I am,” Staggs said.

Staggs said her high school experience had taught her many things, not just academically.

“I am grateful to all of the helpful teachers I have had over the years,” Staggs said.

She also highlighted taking AP and dual enrollment to prepare for college. Staggs plans to study nursing.

While writing the speech had seemed daunting at first, Staggs said once she started it was easier to reach the required number of pages than she had thought it would be.

Staggs said her advice to incoming freshman would be “the attitude you give it is what it is going to be.”

House plans on becoming an EMT. This career choice came to House during her senior year while a volunteer firefighter with Verbena Fire and Rescue.

She said high school has been eventful and rough.

“I can try to be optimistic and say that my high school experience was good because of my friends and the occasional weather day,” House said. “… I will not miss this place … but despite this place and all its flaws, it has given me hope — the only hope I can see in my life for my career as a college student and my career as an EMT Paramedic. I will always remember it can only get better.”

She said every student should feel like they have a voice.

“Never belittle someone because of their family or their economic status,” House said.

In her speech, Cayleen Wakefield talked about her experiences with challenging classes and her plans to be a veterinarian.

“Mathematics has always been my best subject because it comes naturally and makes sense to me,” Wakefield said. “However, this year I have had to work a little harder (for calculus) than in the past.”

She said she enjoyed her science classes that had labs.

“Some of the best experiences are the ones not found it in the book,” Wakefield said, commenting on her extracurricular activities.

Her advice to ninth-grade students would be not too just focus on grades.

Johnnie Bravo plans to get a job in construction after graduation because he likes building things.

During his speech, he talked about maturing during his four years at CCHS and the positive impact that teachers had on him.