An aunt’s wisdom
Published 11:03 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Editor’s Note: This is the first in the 2015 series of stories about the valedictorians at Suffolk’s five high schools. Check back in the coming days for the other stories in the series.
Suffolk Christian Academy’s 2015 valedictorian says conversations with an aunt inspired her to aim toward becoming an obstetric nurse.
Kelly Lester, who attended SCA for 12 of her 13 years of schooling, said she learned she earned the academic honor at the end of March.
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“I guess when they told me I wasn’t really surprised, but I was kind of surprised,” she said.
Lester has always been neck-and-neck with a few others. “In ninth grade, I considered leaving, but they told me to stay because I was on track to being valedictorian,” she said.
Her best subject? “Math, because that’s just always come easy to me.”
She also excelled at chemistry, she said, adding, “That’s pretty much math and science, so that wasn’t too hard.”
Beyond academics, Lester played basketball in middle school, volleyball in high school, and also got into cheering and softball.
She was a member of the National Honor Society and president of her school’s student government association.
In the fall, Lester will begin studying nursing at ODU; but she hasn’t always wanted to be a nurse. She said she wanted to be a veterinarian when she was younger, before deciding she didn’t want to be in school that long.
Then she wanted to open a bakery. Later, a fascination with criminal shows — she expressed a particular fondness for the Investigation Discovery channel — led her to believe she wanted to work in forensics.
“When I was talking to my aunt, she told me when she was growing up, she really wanted to be a nurse,” she said.
The aunt, Mary Wilkins, works at SCA as a custodian while also helping out in the lunchroom.
“The more she talked to me about it, the more I realized that’s what I wanted to do.”
Lester said her best SCA memories are being crowned homecoming queen and “hanging out with friends.”
Lester said that when she learned she was valedictorian, from a teacher who stopped her at the door as she was arriving at school, her aunt was the next person to learn.
“I was really excited about it, so I ran up and told my aunt, because I knew she was upstairs,” she said.
Her advice to rising seniors? “Definitely don’t slack off just because it’s your senior year, because it still counts, and it counts for a lot.”