SHS val, sal competed for years

Published 1:22 am Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Straughn High School seniors Chelsea Powell and Dalton Watson have been named the 2014 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, after a long and hard-fought academic competition.

“It’s a big accomplishment for both of us,” Powell said. “We’ve been competing for years.”

Chelsea Powell, Dalton Watson

Chelsea Powell, Dalton Watson

But the years of friendly schoolroom battles will officially end with graduation next week. And while Powell and Watson will go their separate ways, they each have big plans.

“I’m going to LBW (Lurleen B. Wallace Community College) to get my basics and then try for sports medicine,” Powell said. “Then I want to go to USA (University of South Alabama) for physical therapy.”

Powell, who played volleyball for SHS, said sports medicine combines two things she loves.

“I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field,” she said.

Watson is also planning a career that will eventually allow him to help people through the field of medicine – just from a different perspective.

“I’m going to Auburn for electrical engineering,” he said. “Then, I’d like to go to UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) for med school radiology. Electrical engineers can work on medical imaging devices and things like that.”

While Straughn’s top two students may be valuable additions to their new schools, they are leaving gaps in a number of teams and organizations at SHS.

Along with the volleyball team, Powell is also a member of Straughn High School’s Student Government Association; the National Honor Society; the school’s Relay For Life team; the Spanish Club; Peer Helpers; Lamp Lighters; and Future Business Leaders of America. Powell is a member of Enon Baptist Church. She is the daughter of Eugene and Leigh Powell.

Watson is a member of Straughn’s football team; the Student Government Association; the National Honor Society; the school’s Relay Fro Life team; and the Spanish Club. He is a member of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church. He is the son of Joey and Penney Watson.