Best of Class Beat Rain

On a rainy Monday, the top students from local high schools managed to enjoy their day in the spotlight at the 2010 Best of the Class.

BOC Outsmart Rain

It’s been a tradition here at WSAZ for 26 years now. On the last Monday of April we host the valedictorians of our high schools in the annual Best of the Class bash at the Huntington Museum of Art.

So it was that more than 200 top students (predominately female) converged fittingly at Huntington’s hilltop for a celebration of 4 hard years of work on a 3D, damp, dreary and drippy day.

While the showers kept us on pins and needles, they let up long enough for the annual cap toss as we saluted the class of 2010. The grey and gloomy conditions have been an occasional visitor to the BOC thru the years, but somehow things always seem to work out.

Clad in caps and gowns, these whizzes of the classroom rubbed elbows with one another and a host of WSAZers. That’s my favorite part of the BOC, “schmozzing” with all that brain power.

No sooner had I entered the Museum that I was greeted by Tyler Channell, the pride of Lenore WV. Ty and I had struck up an internet friendship the past few years over his unique snow making machine. In his backyard in winter, Ty makes snow just like the pros at Snowshoe and Winterplace.

Ty was there with Williamson Wolfpack co-valedictorian Melissa Smith to represent the heart of the billion dollar coalfields. Melissa and Ty are both off to WVU in the fall to major in football (‘Eers fans) and in Ty’s case exercise-physiology and in Melissa’s pharmacology.

I cautioned Melissa, “Organic Chemistry will keep you up late on weekends.” Mel fire backed, “no problems, I am ready for the challenge.”

Proving that the BOC are not just brains and pretty faces, Ty and Mel do a duet every morning at 10:20 in the Wolfpack classroom; namely, Ty on piano and Melissa in song.

As I waded thru the packed Museum, I soon befriended the quad-validics from Ironton St Joe. I chose to hang out with this fearsome foursome since Sara Marie Basedow was headed to my alma mater, Penn State. “I have been to Happy Valley many times to watch your Nittany Lions, Tony”, she volunteered. Sara Marie is a legacy (her mom went to PSU) and will major in Biology, a doctor in the making!

I have invited myself into Mr. Lutz’s honors English class at Ironton where I will spotlight the gang of 4 at St Joes in a few weeks.

Then there was Brandi Meek of Calvary Christian Academy. A Kentucky lass for sure, Brandi is the quintessential scholar who is about to parley her love for horses and the Derby with her smarts. Brandi will major in Equine Science at Morehead State. We talked about the saga of Barbaro, the colt who had to be euthanized after a fall in the 2006 Preakness at Pimlico. “I want to be the track doctor at the derby someday”, Brandi told me.

Jacqueline Jacobs is River Valley High's top student. An ace spiker on the volleyball team, Jackie enjoys the Beta Club, National Honor Society (where she is the secretary), French Club, and Art Club. She has received honors and awards such as Best in Show at the local and state art shows, Franklin B. Walter Scholar Regional Scholars and the Holzer Clinic Science Award.

Jackie will be attending Ohio University in the fall where her major in biology will set the stage for a career in Occupational Therapy. I have enclosed a picture of me and Jackie from the BOC.

One final word, I mentioned that females like Jackie and Sara Marie dominate the BOC roster every year. By my visual evidence, 3 out of 4 at the top of the class are women. I have watched that trend grow for 20 years now!
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