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Blankenship valedictorian in Van Buren
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Van Buren County High School has announced its top 10 for the class of 2013. Ranking first as valedictorian is John Blankenship.
“I couldn’t be prouder of these students,” said VBCHS principal Chris Binkley. “A lot of them will be graduating with college credit hours, some of them with over 12 hours.”
Graduating from high school with credit hours in college is becoming more common for high-achieving students. Binkley says the accomplishment by his students is notable because the school only offers one dual credit class, that being English.
“We have a teacher who is an adjunct professor at Motlow. Because of that we are able to offer one dual credit in English,” Binkley said. “When our students want more college credits, they have to pursue those online or off campus.”
Off campus for Van Buren County High School students means leaving the community.
“We don’t have a college in our county like some high schools do,” said Binkley. “Getting college credits means our students have to travel, which requires a commitment by them and their parents. They are willing to go the extra mile in order to succeed, literally.”
Blankenship is the son of Jerry and Susan Blankenship. He plans on majoring in mechanical engineering at Tennessee Tech University.
Second in the class is Kaitlin Baker. The daughter of Rodney Baker and Dawn Baker, she plans on majoring in forensic chemistry at Austin Peay State University.
A trio will share the distinction of being third:
• Sonora Hutson, the daughter of Doug and Linda Hutson, plans on majoring in psychology and/or social work at Bryan College.
• Hannah Maynard plans on majoring in nursing at Middle Tennessee State University. She is the daughter of Kurt and Stephanie Maynard.
• Stevie Williams, the daughter of Anja Williams, plans on majoring in early childhood education at Tennessee Tech.
Rounding out the remaining top 10 students, respectively, are:
• Brook Flatt plans on majoring in creative writing at Stephens College. She is the daughter of Chris and Cheryl Flatt.
• Holly Campbell, the daughter of Nolan and Dana Campbell, plans on attending Motlow State Community College. After a transfer to David Lipscomb University, she will major in pre-pharmacy.
• Abbie Bouldin, the daughter of Johnny and Angela Bouldin, plans on majoring in mass communication at Tennessee Tech.
• Tiffany Grissom, the daughter of Joey and Rebecca Grissom, plans on majoring in criminal justice at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski.
• Tanner Hillis plans on beginning college at Motlow State Community College and transferring to Austin Peay to finish his degree in speech pathology. He is the son of Travis and Julie Hillis.