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Meet the Class of 2021

Lakin Hayes

Laykin Hayes
Symmes Valley High School/Collins Career Technical Center
Honors/extracurricular activities in school: Member of the National Honor Society of High School Scholars, Honor Roll all four years, vice president of the Collins Career Technical Center FFA, and received my FFA degree. I’m a member of the Collins Choice Club.

What is your favorite memory of high school?: Doing a community service pheasant hunt in the fall. It was a time when we all came together to help one another and make others happy.

What are your plans beyond high school, as far as further education/career choice?: I plan to go to college and get a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and conservation to work in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.

What will you miss most about your school?: I will miss the comfort and familiarity, but also seeing my friends and teachers every day. I will definitely miss FFA and the other clubs I am in.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in the last year or two?: I am proud of my work through FFA. I made second in the state of Ohio for a veterinary science competition and received my state degree.

Is there a teacher or mentor who has particularly inspired or helped you and what is the best advice you have received from them?: Mrs. Cyrus has helped me break out of my shell and discover new things. She has taught me to always do what needs to be done and to take every experience that comes my way, even if I’m scared. I cannot let fear control me.

Hobbies/groups/organizations outside of school: I like to read, play video games, work puzzles and hang out with my friends.

What is a favorite book, album or movie you have enjoyed?: My favorite book is “The Assassin’s Blade,” by Sarah J. Mass, and my favorite movie is Thor Ragnarok.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your last years of high school?: I was not able to go every day and see my friends, which was a huge bummer, but I also missed out on the National FFA Convention and other trips through school.

Where would you like to be 20 years from now?: I would like to be happy in my career and life choices while helping protect the world’s wildlife.

Other thoughts or comments about your high school experience: My time out to Collins has been one of the best. I have been able to explore careers and get hands-on experience.

Leah Bailey

Leah Bailey
Tri-State STEM+M Early College High School
Honors/extracurricular activities in school: National Honor Society, STEM Honors Diploma, winner of Dare to Dream Pitch Competition, President’s List at Marshall University, Dean’s List at Southern State Community College, over 100 hours of volunteer work, attended both the National Youth Leadership Forum Medicine and the Congress of Future Medical Leaders.

What is your favorite memory of high school?: My favorite memory is when we went on a school trip to Costa Rica. However, there have been so many crazy memories at STEM, like building furniture out of doors and creating our very own green, sustainable city.

What are your plans beyond high school, as far as further education/career choice?: I plan to go to Ohio University Southern and pursue my Bachelor of Science in nursing. After that, I hope to work as an ICU nurse for two years, then go to CAMC School of Nurse Anesthesia to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

What will you miss most about your school?: I will miss the family-like environment. However, I do know that I can come visit and call the school if I need anything.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in the last year or two?: I am most proud of the amount of college credit hours I have obtained in high school. I have 64 hours total from Southern State Community College, Ohio University Southern and Marshall University.

Is there a teacher or mentor who has particularly inspired or helped you and what is the best advice you have received from them?: The assistant director of Tri-State STEM+M, Shelby Davidson, has helped me so much. I can never thank her enough for never giving up on us through all the hardships we have been through. I hope one day I can have half the amount of character she has and be an overall good person like her.

Hobbies/groups/organizations outside of school: I created the yearbook for the first and second year of STEM with some help from others. I enjoy going drag racing with my family.

What is a favorite book, album or movie you have enjoyed?: My favorite book is “The Guardian,” by Nicholas Sparks and my favorite movie is the Titanic.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your last years of high school?: I felt as if I had more time to do other activities because I did not have to go to the school. However, I found out I enjoy in-person classes better.

Where would you like to be 20 years from now?: I would like to be a successful Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Also, I would like to be building my dream home with the love of my life. I want to take over my parents’ rental business and grow it.
Other thoughts or comments about your high school experience: My experience at STEM has been nothing short of amazing. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to go to such an amazing school because I know now that I can take on anything that life throws at me.

Lindsay Fraley

Lindsay Jean Fraley
Dawson-Bryant High School 
Honors/extracurricular activities in school: President of Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society member, cheerleader freshman/sophomore year

What is your favorite memory of high school?: Attending my first foorball game as a freshman and felling like a part of the school

What are your plans beyond high school, as far as further education/career choice?: I plan on attending Wright State University and major in mechanical engineering

What will you miss most about your school?: My friends and my teachers (Mr. Jenkins, in particular)

What are you most proud of accomplishing in the last year or two?: I’m proud of myself for maintaining my grades while working 25+ hours a week.

Is there a teacher or mentor who has particularly inspired or helped you and what is the best advice you have received from them?: Mr. Jenkins, my government/current events teacher, has opened my mind and eyes to thinking critically. He has inspired me, and many others, to take time to look at the bigger picture, in order to get a deeper understanding. I am extremely grateful for the knowledge I obtained while being in his class.

Hobbies/groups/organizations outside of school: I work at South Point Giovanni’s, like to draw, paint and play ukulele.

What is a favorite book, album or movie you have enjoyed?: Book – CMBYN; Album – “Cleopatra” by the Lumineers; Movie – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your last years of high school?: COVID has made school, and life in general, a bit difficult. But, overall, I have managed to keep up my grades and stay on track.

Where would you like to be 20 years from now?: I hope to be in a different state, with my own home, a steady job and 2-3 cats.

Rylie Depriest

Rylie Depriest
Rock Hill High School
Honors/extracurricular activities: in school cheerleading, I run my school’s coffee shop.

What is your favorite memory of high school?: My favorite memory of high school is working in my school’s coffee shop and making so many kids smile throughout the day.

What are your plans beyond high school, as far as further education/career choice?: After high school, I am going to Ohio University Southern for early childhood and education.

What will you miss most about your school?: I will miss all the friendships, cheer and my teachers.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in the last year or two?: I am proud that, in these last two years, I got my first job and I worked hard in school to be a little bit ahead in college.

Is there a teacher or mentor who has particularly inspired or helped you and what is the best advice you have received from them?: My homeroom teacher, Mr. Williams, always told us that our hard work was going to get us somewhere.

Hobbies/groups/organizations outside of school: Outside of school, I work at Ashland Chick-fil-A

What is a favorite book, album or movie you have enjoyed?: My favorite books would have to be the Harry Potter series.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your last years of high school?: COVID-19 took out a lot of my junior year and it has made my senior year a lot different, but we made the best of it.

Where would you like to be 20 years from now?: I would like to be teaching and have a family of my own.

Other thoughts or comments about your high school experience: I will definitely miss high school, but I am excited to see what is out there for me.

Whitney Anderson

Whitney Anderson
Chesapeake High School
Honors/extracurricular activities in school: Quiz Bowl team, National Honor Society, Beta Club, student council, varsity basketball and varsity volleyball.

What is your favorite memory of high school?: Eating lunch with my two best friends in my basketball coaches’ closet while talking about random stuff. Just something simple made it amazing.

What are your plans beyond high school, as far as further education/career choice?: I plan to attend Ohio State while majoring in foreign affairs and going into law, while, hopefully, continuing a career in music.

What will you miss most about your school?: I will miss the people who helped me to get where I am today.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in the last year or two?: Graduating early and still being salutatorian.Is there a teacher or mentor who has particularly inspired or helped you and what is the best advice you have received from them? There are many, such as Mrs. Rucker and Mrs. Cheek. I learned that math is like another language and they helped me find my passion for it.

Hobbies/groups/organizations outside of school: I play and write music, traveling, working on my farm and I love working out (I do fitness competitions).

What is a favorite book, album or movie you have enjoyed?: Favorite move is John Wick.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your last years of high school?: Made it very different, however it challenged me in ways I never expected, and making be a better person.

Where would you like to be 20 years from now?: I would like to be happy, proud and successful in life and in a career. I hope to have a wonderful family to support me as well.

Other thoughts or comments about your high school experience: I just want to say how thankful I am to have had amazing people by my side through all the trials and tribulations I went through during high school.

Zane Walters

Zane Walters
Tri-State STEM+M Early College High School 
Honors/extracurricular activities in school: Four years varsity soccer player, captain of my soccer team senior year, National Honor Society, speech and debate team.

What is your favorite memory of high school?: My favorite memory is going on a trip to Costa Rica

What are your plans beyond high school, as far as further education/career choice?: I plan to attend Marshall University and double major in biochemistry and psychology. After that, I plan to continue my education at the Marshall Medical school and become a dermatologist.

What will you miss most about your school?: The thing I will miss most is the people. It really feels like one big family at STEM. I will miss the huge support system that I have there.

What are you most proud of accomplishing in the last year or two?: I am most proud of graduating with 57 credit hours of college already completed.

Is there a teacher or mentor who has particularly inspired or helped you and what is the best advice you have received from them?: I think the teacher that inspired me the most is Mrs. Traci Hunt. She inspired me to work hard and never give up, even when it gets hard, because your education is worth it.

Hobbies/groups/organizations outside of school: I am very active in my church and enjoy being outside and doing things like hiking, playing soccer and disc golfing.

What is a favorite book, album or movie you have enjoyed?: I don’t know that I have a favorite movie, but I love anything Marvel.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your last years of high school?: The pandemic made everything virtual and took away of lot of the personal connections and human interaction, which is what I think I miss the most.

Where would you like to be 20 years from now?: I would like to be helping the people of my community as a health care provider and spending time with my family and friends.

Other thoughts or comments about your high school experience: STEM was one of the best decisions I ever made. For anyone considering it, it is totally worth it!