Schools Honor Top Students

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
 Graduation for all three Benton County High Schools was held during the past two weeks and now that the school year has ended the six top graduates are making plans for the summer and their future education. 
Valedictorian at Cole Camp High School was Savanah Pruitt, the daughter of Tammy and Rudy Pruitt of Cole Camp. 
Pruitt was very active during her years at Cole Camp.  Her activities included:  softball, basketball, cheerleading, Math Club, Student Council, FCA, FBLA, and NHS.
Pruitt intends to attend SFCC in Sedalia next year and major in business.
English teacher Ms. Latham was Pruitt’s most influential teacher.  “She was always there to help me with whatever I needed.  She was always my ‘go to’ person,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt’s advice to underclassmen is “Don’t wish away high school.”
Pruitt’s most memorable time in high school was playing softball in the snow.
Salutatorian at Cole Camp was Katelyn Dixon daughter of Christel and Trenton Dixon.
Dixon was the Senior Class President at CCHS as well as serving as the President of National Honor Society.  She was involved in Art Club, FBLA, and FCCLA.
Art teacher Ms. Pate was Dixon’s most inspirational teacher while she was a high school student.
Her most memorable moment was when her art project was selected for the Missouri Senate Art Exhibit.
Dixon has been painting for as long as she can remember and she hopes to pursue art as a career as she continues her studies at Missouri State in Springfield this fall.
Dixon’s advice to underclassmen is to “Stay true to who you are and follow your dreams.”
Dixon said the best part of living in Cole Camp was that it was a small community and “getting to know everybody.”
This summer Dixon will be working at Subway in Lincoln.
Valedictorian at Lincoln High School was Peyton Warren, daughter of Stacy White and John Warren.
 Warren was involved in band, NHS, robotics, FBLA, Math Club and Art Club while at LHS.
Warren plans to attend CMU next year to study biology.  She hopes to either work as a biologist or attend medical school to become a doctor.
Warren’s most influential teacher was Mrs. Cramer, LHS science teacher.  “She gave me a love of science.  I wouldn’t have even considered biology as a major if it hadn’t been for Mrs. Cramer,” Warren said.
Warren said she would miss all her friends and all the wonderful teachers at LHS as she heads off to college.
This summer Warren plans on spending time with her family before she starts college.
“Don’t procrastinate and do your best,” was her advice to underclassmen.
LHS Salutatorian was Sidney Johnson, daughter of Mike and Michelle Johnson.
A seventh generation Benton Countian, Johnson plans to attend Missouri State in Springfield next year to study radiology.  She plans to become a radiology technician.
While in high school, Johnson was active in volleyball, softball, National Honor Society, Student Council and FBLA.
Johnson said she would miss playing sports and being with friends at LHS.
Johnson’s most influential teachers while in high school were English teacher Ms. McCullough and Mrs. Cramer, science teacher.
Johnson said she would spend her summer working and hanging out with her family at the lake.
Warsaw High School Valedictorian was Dallas Larsen, son of Derrick and Charine Larsen.
While a student at WHS, Larsen was involved in track, cross country, wrestling, NHS and Math Club.
His plans after high school consist of making the move to Rolla.  “I will ship out and begin training with the Army right after graduation.  After the completion of BCT and Ait, I will enroll second semester at Missouri S & T where I will pursue a degree in Computer Science.”
Larsen will be stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood this summer.  He chose the  Army because of the great opportunities and that his service will help him pay for his college degree.
Larsen said he will miss playing sports, hanging out with friends and seeing everyone he grew up with in one place.
His advice to underclassmen is that “hard work pays off.”
Warsaw High School Salutatorian was Caitliln Easter, the daughter of Ralph and Melissa Easter.
While a student at WHS, Easter was involved in NHS, Speech Team, Madrigal, English Club, Math Club, Academic Team, Student Council, school musical, Pep Club, Math Club, Science Club, and FCA.
Easter said her most influential teacher was Mrs. Johnson, her speech coach.  “She was a big help to me and was a great mentor.”
Easter said she plans to attend UMKC next year to study biology.  She hopes to become an ER doctor.
Easter’s most memorable moment in high school was tossing her hat at graduation.
Her advice to underclassmen is “Push a little harder, don’t stop at what you think is your best.”
This summer Easter will be working at Long Shoal Marina as a cashier.