PHS val, sal learn hard work from parents

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 23, 2015

Shown are PHS valedictorian and salutatorian Sara Beth Kelley and Jon Cole Chesser. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Shown are PHS valedictorian and salutatorian Sara Beth Kelley and Jon Cole Chesser. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Pleasant Home’s valedictorian and salutatorian credited their parents for teaching them the value of hard work and trying their best in everything they did.

Valedictorian Sara Beth Kelley, the daughter of Ashley and Sandra Kelley, said her parents taught her to do her best.

“My parents didn’t get mad about bad grades,” Kelley said. “They told me to do better the next time, but I never wanted to disappoint them so I always did my best.”

Salutatorian Jon Cole Chesser, the son of Travis Chesser and Jennifer Armstrong, said from a young age, he was taught about hard work.

“I have always tried to make them proud,” Chesser said.

Kelley will graduate with a 3.95 grade point average (GPA), while Chesser will graduate with a 3.87.

Kelley will attend LBWCC for her general studies, and then plans to transfer to Auburn University to pursue a degree in elementary education.

“I love teaching and working with kids, and can’t see myself anywhere, but in a classroom,” she said.

Chesser plans on taking the same school route – LBWCC to Auburn – but will pursue a degree in electrical engineering.

“I have researched and talked with people in this field, and I feel like it will be a very interesting and challenging career,” he said.

Kelley said never stressing in school was a big key to her success.

“I’ve always tried my best,” she said. “I never stressed about it though, and I think that’s what helped the most.”

Chesser has always been a competitive person.

“I try to be successful at everything I do,” he said.

Chesser earned the LBWCC Salutatorian Scholarship and the Spirit of Auburn Scholarship. Kelley earned the Mable Amos Foundation Scholarship, LBWCC Valedictorian Scholarship and the Miss Pleasant Home Scholarship.

In school, Chesser won the B.H. Tubby Hall Academic Letter award his freshman through junior years; won the 2011 Football Offensive Player of the Year award; the 2013 Football Scholar Athlete and the best field goal percentage award in basketball; and was involved in Future Farmers of America, FCCLA, Senior Beta Club, 4-H, and played on the football, baseball and basketball teams. Additionally, Chesser also participated in Alabama Boys State.

Kelley also received the B.H. Tubby Hall Academic Letter award during her freshman through junior years; was the recipient of the Ronda Wiggins School Spirit award; elected as the 2015 Homecoming Queen; and was crowned the 2015 Miss Pleasant Home.

Additionally, Kelley was vice president of the senior class, president of the Senior Beta Club, president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, president of Peer Club and co-captain of the varsity cheerleaders.