LHS valedictorian heads to U.Va.

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Editor’s Note: This is the second in the Suffolk News-Herald’s annual series of stories on the valedictorians at Suffolk’s five high schools.

Myra Bailey is the valedictorian of Lakeland High School, and she has big plans for the future.

Bailey plans to go to the University of Virginia in the fall and major in chemical engineering. She was inspired by her chemistry class at Lakeland.

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“The labs we did really got me interested in how it works,” Bailey said.

Bailey hopes to go into lab research or maybe pharmacy work as a backup.

The drive that motivated her toward becoming valedictorian came from inside.

“I love always putting my best forward,” she said.

Bailey wasn’t surprised by being named the valedictorian. Ever since eighth grade, her report cards have reflected her class rank as No. 1.

“I’m glad it didn’t change, but I wasn’t taken aback by it,” she said.

Though Bailey was inspired by chemistry and her favorite class was math, her favorite teachers were on the other side of the curricular spectrum. Mrs. Williams, her AP language and composition teacher, and Mr. Waller, her AP U.S. history teacher, were among her favorites.

“They took time outside of just teaching hours to show that they cared about us personally,” she said.

Bailey spent time outside of class, as well. She played first-chair violin in the orchestra, where her best memory was this year’s spring concert.

“It was the first time I did a solo at school,” she said.

She also was president of the National Honor Society, which took up a lot of her time. She also was the co-editor of the yearbook, an opportunity afforded her by an open spot in her schedule.

“It felt good to contribute to something so big for my senior class,” she said.