Over the course of four years, Macon County High School’s class of 2023 witnessed its most academically exceptional students vie for the top title of valedictorian.
In the end, the result was a three-way tie, with Kendall Coley, Peyton Seagraves and Peyton West finishing at the head of the class.
The valedictorians shared some thoughts about their unique, high-school experiences and their plans for the future.
How do you feel about graduating? It’s really bittersweet. I love all my teachers here and my best friends, and I’m going to leave them. But, then, the opportunities I’m going to have leaving … it’s going to be great.
How has your last four years at Macon County High School been? It’s been great. I love high school actually. It’s been the best four years of my life.
Do you have any standout moments that come to mind? I used to run errands a lot for certain teachers. It’s always fun helping people.
What are your post-graduation plans? I’m going to Western Kentucky University to major in forensic psychology.
Coley’s comments from her commencement speech … “I’m proud of you. For those of you who don’t think anyone is proud, I am. I’m proud of each and every one of you. If you have someone in your life that doesn’t have confidence in you, don’t let them dictate what you’ve accomplished. Go into the career that you want to. Go accomplish what you want to.
How do you feel about graduating? I think I’m just ready. I’ve been doing this for 12 years.
How has your last four years at Macon County High School been? In general, it’s been very good. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way.
Do you have any standout moments that come to mind? There were several trips that we made in high school. I remember, for FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), we went to the Titans facility. That was very memorable for me.
What are your post-graduation plans? I plan to go to Tennessee Tech (University) to study computer science.
Seagraves’ comments from his commencement speech … I want to thank everyone here. You may be wondering what you did to deserve this. Well, you’ve allowed me to come up on the stage and deliver my speech, by shaping my life and the lives of everyone else here. You made it through high school, which is worthy of praise in itself.
How do you feel about graduating? Emotional … I actually just called my best friend. She’s graduating on the same night, so that was kind of hard to realize, I guess.
How has your last four years at Macon County High School been? It’s been pretty good. The last one has been amazing.
Do you have any standout moments that come to mind? Well, homecoming was a lot of fun. I was the queen.
What are your post-graduation plans? I’m going to MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) to study. I’m majoring in music business.
West’s comments from her commencement speech … I encourage you not to seek success over virtue, wealth over generosity or ambition over gratitude. Remember that although the world does get dark at times, there will always be light. And when light shows, it doesn’t just cover up darkness. It changes it into something good. There’s a poem I like by Harry Baker, and, in it, he says, ‘People have potential to be powerful.’ Each one of you has the ability to do incredible things.
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