I have made peace with myself in regard to the matter of my being very much out of place in a rose garden. But you need to know that I really enjoyed being the troll last Tuesday morning at a gathering of learned Rebel juniors especially since they were all beautiful young ladies. Being around these lasses makes me think, with a great deal of certainty that our country is in for a bright future and with absolute certainty that it is going to be easy on the eyes.
Ms. Jill Jett, The Strom Thurmond High School Principal and also very much a breaker of glass ceilings, shared her perspective of the rising seniors commenting, “The young ladies featured in this article represent the greatest attributes of the Thurmond student body. They are athletes, they are honors students, and they are strong role models for the younger generation in the Edgefield County community. These young women have bright futures because they are dedicated, committed, and focused. They are exceptional because they work hard. They do not fail because they never give up. They are honest, respectful young women who accept accountability for their lives and their futures. They understand the importance of responsibility to each other, to our community, and to society. They are, without a doubt, what I believe symbolizes the Strom Thurmond High School Invincible Spirit.”
A charming loquacious young woman, to say the least, is Miss Carley Anne Rearden. Her spirited approach to life radiates from her declarations of having a positive attitude towards her education, that she changes her mind about her career goal monthly and that she tries to be nice to most people. Just how straight forward can a high school junior be? Carley is the goalie for the Lady Rebel Soccer Team and was sporting a brace on her wrist to prove it. From a self-proclaimed rather large family she lives in Johnston with her parents and three brothers and two sisters. Can’t wait until Strom Thurmond releases this brainy whirlwind on society.
Ebony Monique Johnson, the daughter of Torrey and Jessica Johnson of Trenton, will be parlaying her 4.976 GPA into an acceptance to Clemson University for the purpose of acquiring a degree in Industrial Engineering. All of this of course will occur as soon as she finishes cheering at Strom Thurmond. Ebony shares the premises in Trenton with her brother Kevin.
Kenneth and Shamala Collier, as expected, gave us one of the most affable young women I have ever met. Shelby Miriah, a Strom Thurmond cheerleader, will use her very high class ranking and superior grades to enter and complete some prestigious accounting program after which we can only hope that she takes up money counting in Edgefield County. She reminds me a great deal of her highly respected father, a man who thinks for himself, as does she.
I sure am glad that Don Barnhart teaches in the science department at Strom Thurmond High. Why, you might ask? Dayna Suzanne Barnhart is why. The Rebel softball player with a 4.4 GPA will be spending her career as an athletic trainer and will hopefully get me some tickets to Division I football games to make up for saying no when asked if she read HOWLS weekly.
Ashley Michelle Bodiford resides in the northern part of the county with her parents Keith and Liz Bodiford and brother Jared. This 4.696 GPA Rebel Cheerleader is also a member of the nationally competitive STHS Mock Trial Team. Another blue chipper for Clemson University, this lass plans to be a small animal veterinarian.
Alisia Tara Fuller will soon be filling prescriptions. This 4.376 GPA Cheerleader is going to FAMU to begin her quest to become a pharmacist. Alisia lives on highway 378 with her grandmother about whom she had a lot of loving things to say.
Allie Elizabeth Jhant lives in the Merriwether Section of Edgefield County with her parents Philip and Julianne. Her brother, Geddings, is an 8th grader at Merriweather Middle. Volleyball, Soccer and a 4.93 on her way to being veterinarian routed through you guessed it Clemson University.
One of the few times that I have had the opportunity to meet a person whose very demeanor is representative of their career goal. Margaret Caroline Lorimer is going to be a kindergarten teacher and the little people are going to be better off for it. Margaret lives in Johnston with father Nick, mother Kim and little sister Becca. The number of top-notch teachers to have prepared for a career in pedagogy at Winthrop College is endless and Margaret Caroline is headed that way.
Tori Elizabeth Perano is a 4.128 GPA piano playing, softball hitting, cheerleading beauty queen with her eyes set on a degree in sports medicine. What better place than Charleston in close proximity to The Citadel to pursue her chosen career. Tori lives in Edgefield with her parents Alan and Mary Tez Perano. Sister Dixie has finished college and holds a BS in Criminal Justice.
Becoming a clinical psychologist is the career goal of Morgan Breanne Rutland of the Ridge Spring area of Edgefield County. Mark and Tara Rutland, her parents, and younger brother Lakeland will be delivering her to Clemson University in about one more year where she intends to pursue her degree of choice.
McKenzie Anna Talbert swings a mean driver, mean enough in fact to warrant her getting a business degree from Clemson University so that she can keep up with all of the sponsorships she will have when she goes on the pro tour. If anyone doubts the work ethic of our youth they need to meet McKenzie for solace. Parents Robyn and Ken Talbert provide shelter and a practice facility for McKenzie at Mt. Vintage.
And from the Merriwether Community we have Maci Brianne Wheeler, a 4.0+ volleyball player with numerous art attributes. The daughter of Joe and Michelle Wheeler is not only smart academically she has a whole lot of good old common sense easily discernible by her selection of fishing, jet skiing and eating of potato chips as hobbies. Maci never meets a stranger and they are better off for it.
What better way to brighten ones day than to be surrounded by young people who actually understand the inner workings of leadership. Every one of the aforementioned girls spoke of helping others when defining their roles as leaders and their desire to promote a positive image of Strom Thurmond High School. We are indeed fortunate.