After delivering messages of improving the world and looking towards the future to the Clinton High School Class of 2015, Valedictorian Aaron Viser and Salutatorian Grace Reagan are looking forward to beginning new journeys beyond Sampson County.
“I appreciate having the support of my high school and my family,” Reagan said while looking back on her high school years. “My faith in God has helped me through all my struggles.”
Viser described his years at CHS as an awesome experience.
“There were so many parts that were great,” he said. “I got to play football and take honor classes. All of my teachers were great. It was a great time.”
Viser’s work in the classroom resulted in getting accepted to Harvard University. It was one one of the first schools to which he applied.
“I’m very blessed,” he said, discussing the application process which included preparing an essay and standardized testing.
He’s currently undecided about a major, but mentioned medicine as an option. In a couple of weeks, Viser will be leaving for the Boston metro area to attend the Ivy League university. He’s going to miss North Carolina, but he’s ready to experience a change of pace.
“It’s kind of a precarious feeling honestly,” he said. “There’s things that I know I’m going to miss about Clinton, like seeing country roads and all of my friends.”
The medical field is something Reagan has her sights on too. She’s attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study biology. After earning her degree, she plans to attend medical school to become a doctor. For many years, Reagan observed the practice by watching her father, Dr. Robert W. Reagan, and helping people in hospitals.
“I always enjoyed it and I spent time volunteering at the hospital around patients,” she said. “I just really like being able to help them and provide for their needs.”
Viser believes it’s important to take on challenges. It’s one of the reasons he enrolled in honor classes, something he said students shy away from.
“That just goes a long way,” Viser said regarding the vigor of the classes.
For Viser, having a passion is also important. While attending CHS, football was one of several. It’s something he balanced along with school work and other activities.
“If you really want to do something, might as well do it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be a little busier.”
Like Viser, Reagan was also involved in sports. The student-athlete was a member of the cross country, soccer and swimming teams. In addition, she also served Student Government Ambassadors, Beta Club and the Key Club. While reflecting on her time at CHS and juggling activities, she made a suggestion for future graduates not to become overwhelmed.
“I think you should manage your time and make sure that you still have free time and do things that you enjoy, like hanging out with friends,” she said. “You have to have a good balance of school work too.”
Principal Dr. Steven Miller applauded the students for their accomplishments and future plans.
“They’re wonderful young people and very deserving of the prestigious honor of valedictorian and salutatorian of their class,” Miller said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.