Natalie Threatt named senior class valedictorian


Submitted photo

Senior Natalie Threatt smiles for a photo.

Ava Swanson, Editor

On April 29, the senior class GPAs were finalized for their last class ranking. Natalie Threatt found out that she earned the spot of valedictorian on Monday by being called down to principal Brett Miksch’s office during class. 

“My heart was kind of pounding the entire time I was walking down the stairs to the office,” Threatt said. “I don’t normally get called down to the principal’s office. I was kind of thinking it was going to be about my rank, but my heart was still pounding. When he told me, I was like, finally, I can breathe. I was really happy and excited.”

Throughout the last four years, Threatt has put a large amount of her free time into completing her schoolwork and keeping her rank up. 

“Up until this past year, when everyone would be going to football games or sporting events, I would be at home doing homework and studying on the weekends,” Threatt said. “When I wasn’t doing that, I was usually at the golf course practicing since I was on the golf team. I think what people don’t always understand is that I’m not just smart, I don’t do anything else. I have my nose in a book whenever you see me.” 

Due to the amount of time that Threatt put into her studies, it was extremely important for her to find a good support system. Throughout high school, she depended on her parents to keep her motivated. 

“Every time I will have a headache or whatever, and I’ll be doing work, my mom will be sitting home on the couch, rubbing my shoulders so I can keep working,” Threatt said. “And then just being patient and understanding that, sometimes, I can’t go out and do fun stuff because I need to be at home studying for tests. My mom and my dad helped me get to this point.” 

Now that the final rankings are out, Threatt is able to spend more time relaxing and hanging out with her friends. 

“It was one of those things where it just felt like all the hard work I put in kind of came to fruition and it was like, ‘I can breathe now,’” Threatt said. “I’ve gone pedal to the metal for so long. It was like you run a marathon and now you finally reach the finish line.”

Now that the marathon is over, Threatt has her graduation speech to look forward to. A background in theatre gave her the public speaking skills she’ll need, so she doesn’t feel overwhelmingly nervous about speaking at the ceremony. 

“Mostly I’m just nervous about making sure the speech is good and that students will identify with it,” Threatt said. 

After graduation, Threatt will be attending Rockford University, a private university in Rockford, Illinois. 

“I’m attending on a full tuition scholarship, playing on the golf team,” Threatt said. “My major is in history, and I will be going on to law school to become a constitutional lawyer.” 

While becoming valedictorian was extremely gratifying for Threatt, the entire experience allowed her to learn the importance of a healthy balance in life and the beauty of appreciating the little things. 

“Academics shouldn’t be your whole life,” Threatt said. “It’s one part, and it was a really satisfying part of this year for me to achieve that. But what I’m going to remember more is the friends that I had in high school. While I’m happy that I am valedictorian, and I appreciate everyone who supported me, it only really matters for the four years you’re here. The people you meet, the experiences that you have, they’re going to impact you far more than being the valedictorian is ever going to.”