• 46°

Neal Val, Sal involved heavily at school

For the past three years, W.S. Neal High School has had women leading each senior class as valedictorian and salutatorian. Since 2015, women have been serving as top eagle, also known as valedictorian. The class of 2019 isn’t any different. W.S. Neal’s valedictorian and salutatorian are Brianna Pate and Althea Marsh.
Pate is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, Mu Alpha Theta and just about any club the school offers. Her favorite club to be a part of is the National Honor Society because she enjoyed helping promote the OneBlood blood drive.
Once Pate graduates, she plans to attend the University of South Alabama in the fall, where she will get her undergraduate degree in psychology. Pate will then attend occupational therapy school to become an occupational therapist. Pate said she always knew she wanted to work in the health care field, but she said she didn’t want to stick people with needles. That’s when she started looking into the therapy side of medicine.
“Once I started looking into occupational therapy, I realized it was something I believe I was called to do,” Pate said. “I’m excited to have occupational therapy as a career one day.”
Pate said she owes her success to her determined attitude, family and her encouraging teachers and faculty at WSN.
Marsh is another WSN senior who knows how to stay busy. Marsh is president of her class, vice president of the National Honor Society, yearbook editor and section leader in the marching band. She is also a part of several other clubs at WSN. Marsh has been playing clarinet for the past eight years and has been in the marching band for the past six years.
Once Marsh graduates, she plans to attend Troy University in the fall where she will get her undergraduate degree in sociology. Marsh will then go to law school to become an attorney. She plans to practice trial or corporate law.
“I have always been geared toward helping people,” Marsh said. “That’s always been a big part of my life. I want to make sure that everybody’s voice is heard.”
Marsh said Coach Hodge, the librarian Jessica James and her counselor Leketha Bradley at WSN helped her become successful. She also said her former teacher, who is now retired, Kraig Rittenhouse made a huge impact in the growth of her character.
“W.S. Neal High School as good teachers who have been very present in my life,” Marsh said. “They made sure to go that extra mile to make sure that I was not only doing well as a student but also as a teenager.”
WSN graduation will be at 7 p.m. at WSN on May 23. Admission is by ticket only.