Top seniors, retirees honored at Chambers County School Board meeting

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, May 21, 2022

Top seniors from Valley High School and LaFayette High School as well as retirees from the school system were recognized at the Chambers County School Board meeting on Wednesday. Each was called to the front of the room and given a plaque.

Dr. Sharon Weldon, the director of secondary education, introduced the students and asked them questions at the podium. The first person she called up was Daisy Scalf, who was third in her graduating class at Valley High School.

Scalf plans to attend Auburn University after she graduates and said she considers being ranked third in her class to be her biggest accomplishment in school. She said her favorite class was physics taught by Lee Pino.

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“I think my favorite [memory from school] would be going to pep rallies,” she said. “They were really fun.”

The second top senior in her class at Valley High School was Hazel Floyd.

“After graduation, I’m going to attend Southern Union, where I will obtain an associate’s and then transfer somewhere to get a political science degree,” she said.

Floyd said her greatest accomplishment in school was all the leadership positions she’s held this year.

“My favorite class was my ninth-grade history teacher’s class, Ms. ​​[Vivianne] Audiss,” she said. “She taught me so many things about, like, European, and we got to try cool Indian foods and drink teas from Asia. It was really fun.”

Floyd’s two favorite memories from her time in school were spending time with friends and anything she did with the school band.

The first top student in the senior class at Valley High School was Kathryn Carpenter.

“I plan to attend the University of Alabama in Huntsville to get a degree in computer science,” she said.

Carpenter said her greatest accomplishment in school was being the assistant drum major in band.

“I’m really shy, if you can’t tell,” she said. “That was probably one of my first times trying out for a really big leadership position. So even though I didn’t get head drum major, I still got assistant drum major, and I was really proud of myself for that.”

Carpenter’s favorite class was band.  She explained her favorite memory from school.

“For my midterm in physics this year, I built a roller coaster with a marble,” she said. “We had to use different things to build a roller coaster for a marble. And it was just really cool figuring out what would work, what didn’t and how to make it work.”

The top three LaFayette High School seniors were recognized after the retirees. Weldon said that only one of them, Nyasia Chambers, was able to make it to the meeting. Chambers is the second of her class. The students who weren’t present were third in class senior Malayasia Carlisle and first in class senior Tre Thomas.

Chambers said she planned to attend Troy University to get a bachelor of science in nursing degree. She said being the second top student in her class was her greatest accomplishment in school.

“I feel like I never planned for this to happen,” she said. “I just worked really, really hard, and this is where I’m at.”

Chambers said her favorite class was with math teacher Dr. Daniel Bass because it was challenging.

She couldn’t pick a favorite memory from her school days, she said, because she loved all of her time in school.

Superintendent Casey Chambley gave a speech before recognizing retirees.

“What a wonderful time,” he said. “Retirement. Teacher retirement, where the pay is not as good but the hours are.”

Chambley said the retirees had earned their places in history within the community and its schools as people who had shaped the lives of children.

“Everything that everyone in our system does and in every system across the state and across this country is important from the secretaries to the teachers to the bookkeepers, the bus drivers, the librarians, the nurses… everybody,” he said. “The custodians, CNP staff, coaches… everybody that plays a part in these young people’s lives is important to our system and important to every system.”

Chambley said that losing school system employees is tough. He said that replacing good people is difficult and sometimes impossible.

“And although many of your spots will be filled with people, the spot that they fill it with will not necessarily be unique to what you’ve done and the mark that you’ve left on the children’s lives and our system,” he said. “And that’s what you can be proud of.”

Chambley said the school system had been very fortunate to have the employees and expressed gratitude for their work. He said they were welcome to visit schools and attend school events.

The retirees recognized were Tamalita Autry (who worked with the CCSD for 21 years), Daniel Bass (who worked with CCSD for 16 years), Weenona Brannon (six years), Daron Brooks (13 years), Karen Brown (28 years), Valerie Carter (25 years), Steven Coker (25 years), Teresa Davidson (10 years), Walteria Echols (23 years), Misty Hudmon (22 years), Glen Jones (40 years), Beverly Letson (24 years), Janice O’Neal (four years), Laura Phillips (28 years), Regina Sanders (23 years), Elizabeth Shaddix (26 years), Amelia Yates (41 years), Christine Thomas (25 years), Teresa Bookwalter (20 years), ​​Geneva Holloway (24 years), Mary Johnson (22 years) and Josephine Shahid (19 years).