WHS Celebrates Academic Excellence and Accentuates the Positive
by Hannah Benson
On October 9th, Walkersville High School had their Academic Excellence Night. The Walkersville community gathered to celebrate many of the Lion’s academic achievements.
The Academic Excellence Night recognizes sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher from the previous school year. Students are also acknowledged for being AP scholars, perfect attendance, and several other awards.
Students arrived at the high school at 6:15pm, in professional attire. Sophomore Antonia Glueckler stated, “It [was] very nerve wracking.” Junior Elijah Oliver felt differently, “I felt perfectly fine, [but] it was hot.”
At 7:00 pm, the students filed into their seats in the auditorium, and the evening started. English teacher Michele Gill hosted the ceremony. Principal Tracey Kibler gave a speech explaining how even though the recent news and social media has been negative, Walkersville continues to thrive by serving one another with our pride initiative.
Kibler admitted, “I’ll be honest with you, I don’t turn on the news often late at night. Looking at nothing but horror, hate, evil, slander, it’s just not something I wish to fill my life with.”
On a positive note, Kibler pointed out, “That’s why here at Walkersville we’ve embraced a different kind of message, and that’s talking about the things we do well, celebrating what we should be doing, celebrating good, celebrating promise.”
“Pride cards are available all around the school, in our front office. Last year it was the goal of our staff and students to send pride cards to each other. When they recognize a positive act, of hard work prevailing, integrity, courage, and character. ” Kibler gave every student receiving an award a pride card. She also invited the students to fill one out, serving and uplifting a fellow peer, teacher, or staff member.
Following Kibler, WHS Alumni Audrey Johnson addressed the audience. Johnson shared the story of her schooling experiences, and how she reacted when things didn’t turn out the way she’d expected.
“Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a teacher. I always loved reading, collecting information, being around people, and working with and helping them… I remember sitting at my Academic Excellence feeling like a total smarty pants,” Johnson giggled. “I immediately began pursuing my dream of becoming a teacher. At first it was great! I loved my classes, my professors, my peers, everything was great… Everything was totally with my favor, until I actually had my first taste of teaching, and I hated it.” All of Johnson’s plans and dreams crumbled before her eyes. Instead of panicking, she just adjusted her classes, becoming a more well-rounded student.
Johnson ended, giving advice to students, “Your worldview can’t expand if you don’t open yourself up to new opportunities. If you don’t give the unknown a chance… My advice for you is to keep your eyes open, whatever your goals or plans are for the next few years, graduating, going to college, working, or even nothing for now, I urge you to spend you time trying new things.”
“We loved the speech, the Alumni’s, it was really good,” Oliver exclaimed.
“I liked how she told her life and how she made mistakes and then showed how to get back on track and do something great,” Glueckler stated.
Next, the students walked on stage, stating their name, starting with the 4.0 grade point average sophomores, followed by the 3.5 or higher sophomores. It continued in this order for the juniors and seniors.
The PTSA planned the evening, and also provided refreshments after the event. Students were buzzing, congratulating each other, and taking plentiful amounts of pictures.
In the end, the Academic Excellence Night was enjoyable. Walkersville loved the speeches, and supporting family and friends even more. Students will eagerly work through the school year, excited to see what next year’s academic night will hold.