W.S. Neal honors top students

Published 4:00 am Saturday, May 22, 2010

With fond memories and high hopes for a bright future Dwight Burnham and Monica Dunn will have a special honor added to their memory books.

Dwight Cody Burnham was named valedictorian for the 2010 graduating class with Monica Gail Dunn named as salutatorian.

Burnham is the son of Dwayne and Debra Burnham and has received several honors during his time at W.S. Neal.

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“I have been in the marching and concert band playing trumpet and have served as section leader and first lieutenant,” Burnham said. “I was a member of the Neal Eagle Ambassadors, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society president, and business manager for the yearbook staff.”

Burnham also had a role in the senior play and was a student of dual enrollment with Jefferson Davis Community College.

Dunn, the daughter of Dewayne and Amanda Dunn, was also involved in several organizations during her high school years and received awards for her work.

“I was a member of the Neal Eagle Ambassadors, National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta,” Dunn said. “I have also received an academic achievement for geometry.”

Burnham said he plans to pursue a career in pharmacy studying at two colleges for a degree.

“After high school I plan to enter the pre-pharmacy program at the University of Alabama,” Burnham said. “I plan to later acquire a professional degree in pharmacy at the University of South Alabama.”

Dunn said she plans to enter a different area of the medical field pursuing a degree in nursing.

“I plan to attend Jefferson Davis Community College and get my RN degree,” Dunn said. “Then I want to enroll at the University of South Alabama and get a BSN. I hope to become a nurse practitioner.”

For both graduating seniors, teachers have played a vital role and have given memories both will carry through life.

“My favorite teacher in high school was Mr. Rittenhouse,” Burnham said. “I appreciated his teaching method. I encourage future students to take at least one of his courses.”

For Dunn two teachers made her favorites list.

“I had two favorite teachers,” Dunn said. “Mrs. Rollin and Mr. Rittenhouse were my favorites. My favorite subject was history because it never changes and we cannot move forward without knowing our past.”

Looking to the future, both graduates have a definite vision of how life will be for them.

“For the longest time I have strongly considered a career as a pharmacist,” Burnham said. “I hope that in 20 years I will have established myself as a successful pharmacist.”

Dunn plans are filled with a balance of home, marriage, community and a career in nursing.

“I hope to be married with children and working for a doctor as a nurse practitioner in 20 years,” Dunn said. “I hope to be active in my community as well as my church.”

Each student had some words of advice for students entering their senior year at W.S. Neal High School.

“Give your best effort in all that you endeavor,” Burnham said. “Never settle for less than what you are capable of achieving.”

Dunn’s advice to incoming seniors is similar to Burnham’s.

“Always give one hundred and ten percent in all you do,” Dunn said. “Never settle for anything less than the best.”

Burnham and Dunn will give their speeches during graduation ceremonies set for 7 p.m. Friday, May 28, at W.S. Neal High School.