Huntington High School announced Weston Reynolds valedictorian and Bailey Stewart salutatorian of the class of 2019.
Weston will be attending Texas Tech University to obtain a degree in agriculture communications with a minor in wind energy to become a lobbyist for wing energy in Austin or Washington D.C. Weston said a seventh-grade teacher of his had a significant influence on his desire to do well in school.
“BEfore seventh-grade, I did relatively well with my academics, but I didn’t really have a sense of ambition about being successful later on,” Weston said. “Once I met him, he encouraged me, not to be more proficient in his subject or in academics in general, but to live a better life and be a better person. He displayed to me some of the great qualities I could take on to be successful in my endeavors.”
Bailey will be attending Texas A&M to obtain a biomedical degree in hopes of becoming a large and small animal vet and opening her own clinic one day.
“I’ve always tried to do my best in everything, and I knew I could do well in school,” Bailey said. “Anything less than what I expected of myself was not OK, especially when trying to become a vet.”
Bailey and Weston also wanted to thank their parents for the wonderful support they gave them over their educational career.
Weston has participated in student council, cross country, basketball and track, and he was the president of FFA, the president of National Honor Society and the club and state president of 4-H.
Bailey has participated in student council, Drug Free All Stars, volleyball, softball, basketball and track, and she was the secretary of FFA and the treasurer of National Honor Society. She also works five-plus days a week at a vet clinic.
To manage all the activities and coursework of high school, Bailey said she makes an effort to plan out her time and schedule her week. She uses a planner, but she said sometimes there isn’t enough time to write everything in the planner, so she has to keep it straight in her head.
“I just have to make sure I plan everything out, so I don’t lose a good bit of sleep here and there studying for tests,” Bailey said.
Weston said it took having a clear understanding of his priorities to manage his time efficiently.
“What’s motivated me in high school is being able to see beyond a Friday or a Saturday night hanging out with friends, understanding that what I do now is going to determine my future,” Weston said. “Being someone who’s had their life goals and their college aspirations planned out for a while, it’s just imagining that and understanding that in order to reach that point, I have to put in the work now.”
Despite the work, the two said they’ve made plenty of great memories over high school. Bailey said the moment she passed her certified medical assistant exam last year was amazing.
“I’ve always wanted to be a vet since before I can remember,” Bailey said. “Getting any certifications in the medical field is a step in the right direction. Even though I’m not currently using the certification, it’s still cool to look back and see all that hard work for three years paid off.”
For Weston, it was the experience of going to national FFA and competing in the prepared public speaking competition.
“Ever since the first period of the first day of my freshman year when I walked into ag class and I was overwhelmed with the district banners from all the way back to the 1950s and 1940s, my goal throughout high school has been to bring back as many of these as I can,” Weston said. “Going to nationals to represent Texas FFA was certainly an amazing experience. All we were used to was seeing Texas on the back of everybody’s jackets — that was life as we knew it — and then you’re in the minority going to nationals. It was definitely cool being the one person representing Texas.”