THS salutatorian talks future plans

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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Madison Hester was excited when she found out she was named salutatorian at Troup County High School.

“I’ve always strived to push myself and knowing that all that hard work paid off was really exciting,” Hester said. “I was happy and excited to be a distinguished undergrad, adding in salutatorian was truly a blessing.”

She said her mother, Laurie Hester, has been helping her piece together her speech for Troup’s graduation ceremony in May.

“I have written a lot of drafts and have the first paragraph down. My mom has helped me a lot — as I read it to her, she gives me pointers,” Hester said.

She credited her mom; father, Chris; and brother, Jackson; for providing a foundation that led to her success in the classroom.

“I credit all of my family — my mom especially, she teaches at Rosemont Elementary and was like my foundation of education. My family has always pushed me even when I would get upset when I made a bad grade and encouraged me to keep going. They’re always here for me, and I’m thankful for them,” Hester said.

During her time in high school, Hester was involved in many organizations including National Honor Society, Beta Club and Interact. She’s also been a competitive cheerleader.

As her high school career comes to an end, Hester said she will miss her teachers and classmates the most.

“Every teacher here that I’ve ever come in contact have always been so supportive of me. They know my name, they know my parents are super involved. They’ve helped me be the best student I could be,” Hester said.

“I am fortunate to be going to school with a couple of my classmates who are attending the same college, but I still plan to soak up these last couple of moments because everyone is splitting up, and it’s going to be different. I’ve had the same classes with these people since middle school, and it’s going to be an adjustment not seeing them as often.”

After graduation, Hester said she plans to attend the University of Georgia and major in biology with a concentration in genetics.

“I want to be a neonatologist and work with preemie babies,” Hester said. “I’ve always loved life science. My freshman year I had biology, fell in love with it, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life.”

As Hester prepares to leave THS, she advises the class of 2024 of a few things.

“Start on your college applications now. Don’t wait because they take a lot of time and apply for scholarships everywhere. I didn’t think I’d be lucky enough to receive Hatton Lovejoy Scholarship and [valedictorian] Maya [Billingslea], and I both ended up receiving it. It has been such a huge blessing. College is expensive, start applying now.”