Owens, Albright lead Straughn’s Class of 2022

Published 9:15 am Saturday, May 28, 2022

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Straughn High School held graduation for the senior class of 2022 Friday night and was led by Kristen Michelle Owens as the valedictorian and Hannah Elise Albright as the salutatorian.

Owens is the daughter of Shannon Hayes and stepdaughter of Shann Hayes with two siblings, Ryan Owens and Brandon Owens. Albright is the daughter of Frank and Elaine Albright and also has two siblings, Jessica Albright and Nathan Albright.

“It means a lot to be able to represent my senior class as valedictorian. Everyone has worked hard throughout high school, especially during senior year, and I am grateful to be able to show everyone just how hard we worked,” Owens said. “I feel honored to be able to represent my class as salutatorian considering all of my fellow peers are so intelligent. I can’t think of anyone who does not strive for excellence and achievement,” Albright said.

Owens plans on attending LBWCC and then transferring to a four-year university for a major in Elementary Education. “I would like to become an elementary teacher and have always loved working with kids and just being around them. This field incorporates various interests of mine such as school, art, math, and kids.”

Albright will also be attending LBWCC and then transferring to Auburn University for a major in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Agriculture. “I will be finishing some of my basics at LBWCC and then go to Auburn in the fall of 2023 to complete my major. I have always been strong and interested in STEM-related activities. I enjoy doing math and learning how things come together. Growing up on Albright Farms has really instilled the importance of the Ag industry in me. I would love to be a part of it for the rest of my life and make sure others always know the importance behind it.”

This year’s valedictorian and salutatorian were grateful to be students at Straughn High School.

“The most enjoyable part about Straughn was the teachers. If I ever needed any help, I always knew I had someone there. They were easy to talk to and made sure they always had an open ear. I will miss the school’s environment. I have always felt comfortable with the smaller classes, the students and faculty, and how close the high school is to the middle and elementary school,” Owens said.

“The most enjoyable part about being a student at Straughn was playing and watching sporting events, especially volleyball and also being able to spend so much time with my closest friends. What I will miss the most would have to be cheering on the Tigers at all the Friday night lights, getting ready for and playing in volleyball games, spending time with my friends, and so much more,” Albright said.

Both shared the same feelings about entering the real world and the days that lie ahead. “I am looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing new things,” Owens said. “I will be learning how to become independent and working towards my degree for my dream career,” Albright added.

While Owens is unsure of where she will be, she has a plan in place for the next five to 10 years. “I see myself teaching at a small elementary school where everyone knows each other.”

Albright is hopeful she will be back home in the area of Covington and Coffee counties. “I see myself living right here because that is where my heart is and always will be. I hope to be living near my family’s farm and doing some of it on my own. I also hope to be working with either PowerSouth, Shaw, CDG, or Nutrien.”