Hard work, busy schedules, determination, supportive parents and wonderful teachers made it possible for Emme Smith to become Warren County High School valedictorian and Mary Humphrey salutatorian for the 2019-20 school year.
Smith accomplished the high academic achievement with a GPA of 4.7 with Humphrey closely following her with a 4.639 GPA.
“We were texting at the same time to congratulate each other,” said Emme. “Whoever got No. 1 or 2, we were both really excited for each other.”
Said Mary, “My goal was to make the top 10. I am honored. Doing full AP and dual enrollment has been difficult, but it’s taught me a lot and I’m glad I did it. This is a bonus!”
“Freshman year I knew I wanted to do full time dual enrollment my senior year,” Emme said. “This has been a goal to be valedictorian since my freshman year.”
Emme is working on her associate’s degree at Motlow State Community College and at the campus full time as she planned four years ago. Her plans “right now” are to attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a major in finance and international business.
When asked her favorite subject, she said history comes naturally to her, but she is good at math as well. In her time away from school and academic obligations, she enjoys going to concerts, music festivals, “Bonaroo is my favorite thing ever,” loves working at Kathy’s in McMinnville, lifeguarding at the Country Club and hiking outdoors. She also loves ’80s romantic comedy movies like “The Breakfast Club,” “Sixteen Candles” and “anything girly and funny.”
When asked what her favorite subject is Mary stated, “I am a natural at English and in middle school I was always the person who looked forward to spelling bees. Through dual enrollment I took intro to sociology and I loved it. I’m taking two sociology classes this semester.” She is full time at the high school and working on her associate’s degree online as well.
Majoring in musical theatre plus minoring in dance and sports medicine is what Humphrey plans to pursue after graduation. She has been auditioning and waiting on results before she will decide where she will study.
Mary spends her time outside of academia with Dream Reality Group, Warrens Arts and Cannon County Arts. “My favorite thing is dance captain and choreograph.” She also said she enjoys dramatized true story movies. “I feel fulfilled when hardship turns to success.”
“Take AP, dual and honor classes. They’re not that much harder. There’s no excuse not to,” said Emme when asked what she would advise underclassmen. She also suggested going to the high school before school starts to practice driving on campus and the parking lot.
“It is so difficult. It’s embarrassing going up the wrong lane,” said Emme.
Mary agreed with her admitting she backed into a bush one time. Mary’s advice to underclassmen was to think about the end goal first. “Lay out what you need to get there. Think about what you need to do in the future.”
Cherished memories for both is Homecoming. Mary said it was a bonding moment to be picked for Junior Homecoming court and helping build a float since she moved here from Jackson, Tenn., her freshman year. Emme said building the Homecoming floats and staying up all night the day before the parade is a favorite memory. She added with a smile, “Thank you parents.”