By Katy Mena
Community News Writer
Erica Gravitt is not your average high school graduate. Bright and brilliant, she was the valedictorian of the Sequoyah High School class of 2006, the first ever valedictorian to be specific. Jumping from high school to high school, the 17-year-old finally landed at Sequoyah High in the fall of 2005. A vocational school in the past, Sequoyah made the transition to become a high school in the fall of 2005, just in time for Erica to begin her senior year.
It would seem that Erica was destined to become valedictorian from the moment she enrolled at Sequoyah as a senior. Having skipped her junior year altogether, Erica was eager to get a head start on the nursing profession. Offering regular as well as vocational classes, Sequoyah was the ideal spot for her to complete her pre-collegiate education.
“I chose Sequoyh because they offered nursing programs,” said Erica, who was drawn to the fact that the students can get clinical hours for college by working at a nursing home. But forced to take English 12, Erica missed out on the interactive program, which conflicted with her need to get a grade for grammar.
English aside, Erica is fully committed to becoming a nurse practicioner, having witnessed the tremendous effects that nurses, both good and bad, have had on a sick family member. Her experience at Sequoyah has only solidified her goal. “It made me realize what I really wanted to do,” she said, citing the impact her nursing, anatomy, and physiology classes have had on her.
Enrolled for fall classes at UTC, Erica is well on her way to becoming the South’s resident medical maven, a journey which will require endless determination. Addressing just that in her valedictorian speech to her class, Erica stressed the importance of not giving up as they enter adulthood.
“It is now our responsibility to excel on the path set before us,” she said. “Please remember that as adults, this path will fork several times, and our decisions about which way to go should be made carefully with our goals in mind and the values that we’ve learned at the core. We must be determined to continue this path of excellence.”
E-mail Katy Mena at firstname.lastname@example.org