PHS vals, sal look ahead to bright futures

Published 1:02 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The future looks bright for Pleasant Home High School valedictorians Garrett Barton and Linsey Paige Smithart and salutatorian Hunter Ward as they prepare for graduation.

Barton is the son of Robbie and Mindy Barton, and he finished tied at the top of his class with a GPA of 3.97.

“I plan to attend LBW for two years and then transfer to Auburn University to pursue a degree in civil engineering,” Barton said. “LBW is a local college that is affordable and a great place to start college. In 10 years, I see myself designing roads and bridges to better the state of Alabama.”

Barton said that it’s just in him to strive to get to the top of the class.

“I am a very competitive person,” Barton said. “I have always tried my hardest at everything I do.”

For the underclassmen at Pleasant Home, Barton had this advice.

“I hope that all of my classmates strive to be the best men and women that they could possibly be,” Barton said.

Barton was a member of the Eagles’ football, basketball and baseball teams, an active member in student council, Beta Club and is class vice president.

Smithart, the daughter of Darrell and Tina Smithart, finished tied at the top of her class with 3.97 GPA.

“I plan to be a pediatric dentist,” Smithart said. “I will attend Huntingdon in the fall and major in chemistry to prepare for dental school. In 10 years, I see myself coming back to this area and opening up my own pediatric dental practice to serve this community.”

Smithart said that she feels that’s something the area needs and that Huntingdon is a good place to start.

“Huntingdon is a smaller college, therefore it’s able to offer a more community-based atmosphere that I’m accustomed to,” Smithart said. “With our area needing a pediatric dentist, it would allow me to return to the county that I love and open my own successful dental practice while keeping intact my love of children.”

Smithart said that striving to be at the top of her class is just in her nature, and she also had advice for the underclassmen at Pleasant Home.

“Having a competitive spirit has pushed me in my academics in order to obtain the top spot of my class,” Smithart said. “Set you goals high and don’t stop trying until you have achieved them.”

Smithart is an active member of FFA, Relay for Life, Beta Club, Sr. FCCLA and Sr. 4-H. She was also a member of the Lady Eagles’ varsity volleyball team, and volunteers with Coterie Club.

Ward is the son of Michael and Jessica Ward and graduates with a 3.93 GPA.

“I plan to attend Auburn University to pursue a dual major in aerospace and electrical engineering,” Ward said. “I chose this college because it’s the 13th ranked college in the nation for engineering. In 10 years, I see myself working at either NASA or one of the lead companies in the aerospace industry working to achieve new heights in innovative design and technology.”

Like the other top PHS grads, Ward said it’s in him to strive to be the best, and left advice for the underclassmen.

“I have strived to be top in my class ever since I have discovered my extremely competitive nature,” Ward said. “My advice to my underclassmen is this. Never underestimate yourself, always believe in yourself and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”

Ward was a member of the Eagles’ football and basketball teams and senior class president. He was also an active member in Beta Club, FCA, FFA, FCULA and Envirothon.