Berean Academy valedictorian Kobea Reynolds eyes future

Berean Academy valedictorian Kobea Reynolds eyes future

June 14th, 2018 by Emmett Gienapp in Local Regional News

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Berean Academy valedictorian Kobea Reynolds poses with her horse Rambling Girl at their home on Thursday, May 24, 2018 in Pikeville, Tenn.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter /Times Free Press.

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / ...Berean Academy valedictorian Kobea Reynolds poses with her horse Rambling Girl at their home on Thursday, May 24, 2018 in Pikeville, Tenn.

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / ...Berean...

Photo by C.B. Schmelter /Times Free Press.

In eighth grade, Kobea Reynolds wasn't satisfied with having the second-best grades in her class.

She studied and worked hard all year and was rewarded for her diligence when she was told she was the salutatorian, but she had to watch as her friend was named valedictorian. That didn't sit well with Reynolds.

"I remember that whenever he won that I was really happy for him, but I wasn't going to let it happen again," she said.

In high school, she studied harder and worked harder and now, four years later, she's at the top of her graduating class at Berean Academy. Reynolds has kept an eye on her future during her academic career and said she's always been motivated to succeed, so now she can open doors down the road.

Berean Academy valedictorian Kobea Reynolds poses for a portrait in the Times Free Press studio on Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Berean Academy valedictorian Kobea Reynolds poses for a...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

"It was just one of those things that I realized I had to do good in school to get a good-paying job one day," she said. "There were plenty of times when I didn't want to sit down and study or do homework, but I knew it was something I had to do."

Reynolds said she'll attend either the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga or Bryan College this fall and has decided to use her love of statistics to pursue a career in actuarial science. She wants to work in insurance, determining what risks customers face.

"I took a class on elementary statistics from Bryan College and I found that I really liked that work," she said. "I like being able to look at something and have hard evidence for why things work the way they work. It's a perfect combination of statistics and research."

On top of her studies, Reynolds has been riding and training horses since she was 12 years old. Her parents wound up getting her a horse, Rambling Girl, once they realized her fascination with horses wasn't just a passing fancy. Now she approaches her riding the same way she does her schoolwork.

"I'm happy to put in that time and work. It'll be worth it in the long run to be able to say I rode this horse," she said. "I try to persevere and push through. I'd like to be remembered as a hardworking person that was willing to go out and do what needed to be done."

Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at egienapp@times freepress.com or 423-757-6731. Follow him on Twitter @emmettgienapp.


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