Bearden names valedictorian, co-salutatorians for Class of 2019


Dane Morgan (right) is Bearden’s valedictorian for the Class of 2019. Hayden Harb and Parker Kent (left and middle) are co-salutatorians.

Aurora Silavong, News Editor

Every year, Bearden announces its Top Ten list which is comprised of the seniors with the highest GPAs. These students have worked hard throughout their high-school careers, juggling rigorous schedules studded with AP classes and dedicated involvement in extracurricular activities. The student with the highest GPA is given the distinction of valedictorian, while the second highest is named salutatorian.

Dane Morgan will represent the Class of 2019 as valedictorian. In addition to stellar academics, he is involved in a variety of extracurriculars including Ethics Bowl and Medieval History Day.

“I was initially surprised upon finding out that I am valedictorian,” Morgan said. “Now that the news has had time to sink in, I just feel blessed.”

For the second year in a row, two students have tied for the position of second-highest GPA: Hayden Harb and Parker Kent. They will be co-salutatorians on graduation night.

“Being named salutatorian was definitely an honor; there are so many bright people in our class and there was much competition,” Harb said. “It was also pretty cool to be co-salutatorians with Parker and Dane being valedictorian because we’ve all been in a lot of classes together and have been friends for awhile.”

Added Kent: “Being salutatorian is a great feeling. I feel as if all my high-school accomplishments have finally been rewarded and recognized.”

For Harb, the honor is especially poignant. His mother was salutatorian of her own high school class. Harb’s numerous achievements include his role as student-body president and being selected as a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist. He is also a part of Scholar’s Bowl, Latin Club, and HOSA.

Kent is a trombonist in the school band program and a member of the National Honors Society. He has competed alongside Morgan and Harb in Ethics Bowl and Scholar’s Bowl respectively, in addition to having also participated in History Bowl.

The trio are in Senior Committee together, and all three also agree that the greatest influences on their work ethic and academic ambition were their parents.

“The greatest influences in my life were my parents,” Kent said. “They instilled the value of reading and education early in my life, which carried me out this far.”

Added Harb: “My mom has been the most influential person in this particular aspect of my life. She’s been a principal my whole life, so education has always been a priority in my family.”

As the year draws to a close, the valedictorian has a kernel of wisdom to offer to the underclassmen.

“Pursue rigorous courses that will challenge you, but don’t overload yourself for the sake of pushing yourself to the limit,” Morgan said. “Be reasonable.

“Take some classes simply because they center around topics that interest you, whether the class is an Honors/AP class or not.”

Graduation will take place May 17 at Thompson Boling Arena at 8 p.m.