LHS valedictorian plans to attend University of Alabama

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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With LaGrange High School’s graduation ceremony coming up, valedictorian Louise Dodson is looking back on a memorable past and looking forward to a productive future.

Dodson said it was “really exciting” to be a valedictorian and that she felt honored to be a part of LaGrange High School.

“I’ve had some really amazing teachers, so I feel really honored, and I’m prepared for all my future endeavors,” Dodson said.

Dodson was born in Atlanta but grew up in LaGrange. Her parents are Laura and Jon, and she also has a brother named Clay.

She credits her mother, who works at the school as a counselor, as being a big source of support. She said she enjoyed her mom being at the school and visited her “all the time.”

After graduating, Dodson plans to attend the University of Alabama.

“I really just fell in love with Alabama,” she explained. “There are some really sweet people there. And then I just really liked how I’m a member of the Honors College, and I really liked how they’re service oriented and driven. And that’s something that I really admire and want to get involved in.”

She added that she likes how a lot of the courses there are driven toward the Tuscaloosa area and “giving back to it.” She looks forward to meeting people with similar interests and majors.

“I’m going to try to major in biology,” Dodson said. “I would really like to do something in the medical field.”

Dodson isn’t worried about the distance the college will put between her and her family.

“Three hours isn’t that far,” she said. “She’s, like, close enough to where if there’s an emergency then I can come see her. But also, it’s enough space where I feel like I can grow on my own and just get used to life as a quote-on-quote adult.”

Dodson has many fond memories of LaGrange High School. In particular, she loves the memories she made at her senior year lunch table.

“I think that’s my favorite experience,” she said. She explained that it was nice to eat with supportive friends. She recalls having a “friendsgiving” with them when they ate the same food together.

Dodson’s favorite teacher is Jayne Lewis, who teaches AP statistics.

“I had her sophomore year, and I just remember Ms. Lewis being one of the sweetest teachers I’ve ever had,” Dodson said. She explained that Lewis cared about her students as people.

This year, Dodson has found AP physics to be particularly challenging.

“I’m taking AP chemistry and AP physics at the same time,” she said.

“So, I mean, the combination of the testing on the same days is kind of challenging, but I’m just not really a physics person, I guess.”

Like other graduates, she’s seen the last two years of high school greatly impacted by COVID-19.

“This past year and a half or so has been definitely different. We’ve had to make a whole bunch of adjustments.”

She explained that the pandemic has taught her to keep an open mind about the future, be resilient, and persevere through whatever life throws at her.

During her time at LaGrange High School, Dodson was involved in several extracurricular activities.

“I’ve been a member of two sports,” she said, referring to tennis and running track. “I’ve also been a part of Service Club, FCA and National Honor Society.”

As for what advice she’d give underclassmen, Dodson said to look to the future.

“I would definitely say to stay organized and to start planning ahead because senior year comes up on you, and it gets really busy,” she said.

In her spare time, Dodson enjoys artistic activities such as painting.