RACINE — The Southern High School Class of 2017 top students will address their fellow graduates on Saturday evening during the graduation ceremony.
Daniel Dunfee has been named the class valedictorian, while Sierra Cleland is the salutatorian.
Dunfee is the son of Diane Dunfee and Don Dunfee of Racine. He plans to attend Ohio University to major is geological sciences with a possible minor in Spanish.
Dunfee has participated in Boy Scouts of America where he is an Eagle Scout, is a Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow, is a baptismal member of the Racine United Methodist Church. He has also participated in six years of pep and concert band, six years of Science Olympiad and was a 2016 Regional Scholar.
Cleland is the daughter of Shannon and Chase Cleland of Racine. Cleland plans to attend Marshall University to major in chemistry with a pharmacy background.
Cleland has been a member of the volleyball, basketball and softball teams, and has participated in National Honor Society, Student Council, Ohio Association of Student Councils, iBelieve Foundation, Science Olympiad, concert and pep band, Farmers Bank Junior Board of Directors and Regional Scholars.
Reflecting on her high school years, Cleland said that it has been a fun four years, but a long four years.
“Everyone says it’s the time of your life but I hope not. I don’t want to peak in high school,” said Cleland. She added that she is ready for college to experience something new.
Dunfee said that there has been a lot of fun with teachers and friends
“It has been a long four years but it feels really short. I know I’ve had a lot of fun with teachers and friends, board game and card tricks,” said Dunfee.
“There have been ups and downs, a few problems with grades, but everything worked out in the end they got it sorted out. I’ll give kudos to them for figuring it all out. I’m very appreciative for the administration taking the time to fix it all,” said Dunfee. Cleland agree.
“We made it,” said the salutatorian.
“It’s been a long race, but we finished it with our heads held high and flags waiving in the wind,” said Dunfee of his high school years coming to an end.
As for what has prepared them the most as they go to college in the fall, but noted the science department at Southern Local, which was particularly important as they will both be pursuing science related degrees in college.
As for any advice or wisdom for others as he moves on to college, Dunfee said he had two.
“Knowledge is a weapon. I intend to be formidably armed,” said Dunfee. “And, nothing is ever easy.” Both come from the Sword of Truth novels.
Dunfee, Cleland and the rest of the Southern High School Class of 2017 will graduate at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 27.