If we want to enhance the brainpower in Warren County, perhaps the best idea is to convince Adrian and Cynthia Hale to have more children.
Their daughter, Ella Hale, has been named valedictorian for the Warren County High School class of 2016, joining a sister and brother to be named tops in their graduating classes.
“I really started to think about it last year when they announced the valedictorians,” said Hale. “I looked at my GPA and was like, ‘Hmm, maybe I can get it.’ I told my dad and he was all for it. There was a lot of motivation from home.”
Her sister Rachel was valedictorian at Boyd, while brother Harrison was valedictorian at Daniel One Academy.
“He’s already told me I can use his speech if I want,” said Hale, who admits she really applied herself to earn this distinction. Her schedule included taking a full course load at Motlow where she will graduate with an associate’s degree before she receives her high school diploma.
“There was a whole lot of studying, especially for the summer classes at Motlow,” said Hale. “I was at my sister’s wedding in Illinois and I was on my laptop studying the whole time.”
Hale says she hopes to be accepted to Brigham Young University in Utah where she would like to study to become a dietitian. Through her running, she’s discovered the value of proper diet and she’s even completed a marathon.
“On days I eat junk food, I can really tell it when I’m running,” said Hale.
For local residents who think Hale looks familiar, she played the lead role of Snow White in the production recently held at Park Theater. She finished with a GPA of 4.38 to earn the No. 1 spot.
Just behind her are co-salutatorians Raylee Pack and Samantha Bratcher. They finished with GPAs of 4.29.
Pack is the daughter of Mike and Sally Pack. She said she was hoping to get in the top 10 percent and was pleasantly surprised with salutatorian.
“My mom never had to tell me to study,” said Pack. “It’s always something I wanted to do on my own. My junior year was the worst. I’d spend at least two or three hours studying every night.”
Pack began her high school career as a Pioneerette, but had to stop after her freshman year. “I was spending more time with Pioneerettes than I was on academics,” she said.
She’s been accepted to four colleges and says she has it narrowed down to two finalists, Belmont and ETSU. She said she would love to attend Belmont and major in music because of her love of singing. She would likely follow a path to become a pharmacist if she attends ETSU.
Bratcher says she had her sights set on valedictorian and came agonizingly close to achieving that honor. She said her desire to soak up knowledge is what inspires her to excel academically.
“I went to Dibrell and did everything I could there,” said Bratcher, the daughter of Doyle and Cynthia Bratcher. “I really enjoy the broader expanse of learning here at Warren County High School.”
Her aspirations don’t stop in high school as Bratcher has applied to Yale and Johns Hopkins University. She hopes to major in biomedical engineering.
“It combines machinery with the medical field,” said Bratcher. “It would be concentrating on things like prosthetics and MRI machines.”
In addition to her school work, Bratcher is a stellar performer with the Pioneer Pride Marching Band where she plays flute and is the No. 2 ranking member in the entire band.
Warren County High School graduation is set for May 27 at Nunley Stadium. Hale says she’s looking forward to ad-dressing the crowd, while Bratcher and Pack expressed less enthusiasm about a possible salutatory speech.
WCHS Top 10%
Valedictorian: Ella Hale
Salutatorians: Samantha Bratcher and Raylee Pack