FHS val, sal: Honors once in a lifetimePublished 12:00am Friday, May 23, 2014
When seniors at Florala High School crossed the stage during graduation Thursday night, they were led by valedictorian Caleb Zessin and salutatorian Katherine White.
Zessin, the son of FHS Principal Brent Zessin, said being named valedictorian is a once-in-a-lifetime honor, but one that takes years of work.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “You don’t get to be valedictorian just out of nowhere. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but not just from myself. A lot of times, you want to quit, but I have a lot of people in my life that have pushed me down the right path.”
Zessin, a member of First Baptist Church of Florala, said his faith has also played a large part in his accomplishments thus far.
“I’ve always been raised in church and that everything is for His glory,” he said. “And I’ve been blessed with intelligence and know I need to use that for Him.”
Zessin, a member of the marching band since seventh grade, has served as drum major since his sophomore year of high school; served as president of the BETA Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Science Club, Fellowship of Christian Students and French Club; and served as a Peer Helper and in FCCLA.
Zessin said he plans to attend the University of Mobile in the fall, where he will major in worship leadership (music and theology), with a concentration in Christian ministries.
White, too, said being named to the top of her class was a special experience.
“It’s an honor,” she said. “I worked really hard. I had to juggle sports, clubs and schoolwork.”
White, whose mother Melissa teaches math at FHS, also pointed to her family as a source of strength.
“My parents always had high hopes for me, so it’s really fulfilling to be able to please them,” White said.
A member of the FHS cheerleading squad, White also served as the school’s yearbook editor; is a member of the BETA Club; Mu Alpha Theta; Peer Helpers; Fellowship of Christian Students; Student Government Association; and played keyboard in the FHS band.
She is a member of Liberty Hill Assembly of God and plans to attend Troy University in the fall, where she will major in biology, with a concentration in medical lab studies.
White is the daughter of Keith and Melissa White. She has a brother, Sam, and a sister, Hannah.
Zessin is the son of Brent and Missy Zessin. He has a sister, Katie, and a brother, Peyton.