RLHS val, Sal: Stay focused, never give up

Published 2:47 am Thursday, May 26, 2016

Stay focused and never give up. That’s the advice Red Level High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian has for their underclassmen.

Deonna Harris earned the distinction of valedictorian, while Caleb Gomillion was salutatorian.

Harris is graduating tonight with a 3.95 grade point average and plans to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the fall, where she will study public health and pre-med. Her ultimate goal is to become a physician.

Harris said her love for competition led her to work hard.

“I like competition,” she said. “Growing up with siblings, I’m the last child of six, there’s always competition. I always want to make my parents proud, and being who I am, people don’t expect me to be the val.”

Her advice to others is simple: Study and focus.

“That’s all I can say,” she said.

The daughter of Michael and Diane Harris, Harris has been active in Beta Club, was student council secretary, was an ambassador, Alabama Girl’s State Delegate and more.

The Oleander Club recently awarded her a scholarship and she received a GI Bill scholarship for being a child of a veteran.

Gomillion is headed to Auburn in the fall, who earned a 3.85 GPA.

He plans to study software engineering, which he hopes will lead him to his ambition of becoming a game designer.

“I was hoping to find a position I could utilize the degree,” he said. “What I really want to go into is game design. I figured that this would give me the ability to do that while having a more reliable job.”

Gomillion said from kindergarten he has made good grades.

“I’m always done good it seems,” he said. “My parents would really praise me and tell me I did a good job. It made me feel good that it made my family proud.”

His advice to younger students: Don’t give up.

“It has been hard at times,” he said. “But focus on what you are doing. Whether you’re the kid who can remember everything or the kid who has to take notes, don’t give up.”

The son of Paula and Kevin Gomillion, he has been active in marching band, where he served as drum captain, science club president, drama club representative, Beta Club vice president and member, Mu Alpha Theta and Spanish Club.

He has earned scholarships including the Spirit of Auburn, college of engineer scholarship, Mabel Amos and Southern Pine.