PHS val, sal: study habits, friends reasons for success

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 22, 2014

There hasn’t been any competition between Pleasant Home valedictorian Katie Nail and salutatorian Ashtynn Thomasson, as they prepare to close a chapter of their lives tonight at graduation.

Nail and Thomasson have been successful in their own journeys through high school.

For the valedictorian, establishing good study habits has been one of her keys to success in high school.

“I’d say what made me so successful was my study habits,” Nail said. “I matured at a younger age, so I took school more seriously. I’m more scared of not doing well so I’m trying to do my best.”

Nail gave her study habits in detail — studying several days before a test, making flash cards and writing things down several times in order to set it to memory.

“They’re just basic study practices that help you remember it more,” she said.

For Thomasson, having friends is what really solidified her stake in making good grades at PHS.

“Usually, people don’t say that because their friends bring them down and take away from their grades, but mine actually care about their grades,” Thomasson said. “We would get in competitions kind of to see who would get the best grade. That really helped.”

When asked if there is any friendly competition between the two, both said they go as far as helping each other out when needed.

“We competed together in the Alabama State Envirothon Competition,” Nail said. “We were on the same team.”

Added Thomasson, “Katie is more my ally.”

Nail and Thomasson are involved in a lot of the same organizations at school, including the PHS Student Council, Beta Club, 4-H and Quill and Scroll. Additionally, Thomasson played on the school’s volleyball squad last fall.

As far as college plans, Nail will be attending LBW, where she will pursue her associate’s degree in science before moving on to the University of South Alabama in Mobile to get a degree in radiology.

Thomasson is attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study to become a registered nurse and specialize in anesthesia to become an anesthetist.

In addition to working hard and staying close with friends, making good grades also has helped the duo.

“I’d say applying yourself is the most important,” Nail said. “If you try hard you will succeed and get your good grades. Aim high.”

Nail is the daughter of Angela and Russell Nail of Wing, and Thomasson is the daughter of Paige and Les Thomasson of Carolina.