by Rickey Lewis, Public Relations PCHS

And just like that the 2022 school year comes to a close. The Graduated Class of 2022 has successfully completed four years at their, now Alumni, Pass Christian High School.

Two special young ladies of this “Tenacious” class shared with me the journey that ascended them to the tops of their class. Saniia LaDawn Turner and Mallory Claire Williams have forever inked their names in the PCHS history books as the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of 2022.

Both young ladies finished high school with above perfect GPAs. A 34 ACT score accompanied Mallory’s four-plus grade point average, which made her the PCHS STAR STUDENT, a state recognition. As “Star Student” she was given the honor of selecting her “Star Teacher.” That’s the teacher throughout her entire educational career that has made the biggest impact on her. Mallory chose her mother Melissa William, a math teacher at Pass High.  She contributes her academic success to a lot of late nights and having her mother teaching her at home. “I had Mrs. Gibson for all of my math but my mom was the one at home teaching me it. She was the one giving me the confidence. She was the one driving me.“  Mallory plans on going to the University of Mississippi, studying Biochemistry and her future sights are set on Pediatrics or becoming an OBGYN.

Saniia’s story and journey was a little different.  She states that the biggest obstacle she faced in attaining this goal and many of her goals throughout her life was the lack of a strong support system and not having a bunch of people believe in you. Saniia became the Valedictorian of her class but this wasn’t a goal of hers until her senior year. Her goal entering high school was to do well enough to earn a free college education. At the beginning of her senior year she found out that she was in the running for top student and a lot of people said that she wouldn’t get it and that she couldn’t get it. That was her fuel. She turned the negativity into energy.  “I loaded up on classes this year of College AP and Dual Credit classes because I wanted to solidify my work ethic for college. In doing that I had to set priorities and prioritize my life.” Saniia said that she enjoyed her senior year even though she didn’t get to party like she wanted to because of her goals and the sacrifice she knew it would take to achieve them.

She is looking forward to life on campus at Tuskegee University where she plans on double majoring in Political Science and Sociology. But that’s not the end of her educational journey.  Saniia want to go to Law School after Tuskegee and start her legal career.

I asked her for her advice to young people who may want to achieve some of the accolades that she has and this is what she said. “You have to formulate a belief of what you want to have in life, strive to be the person it takes to achieve that belief and you have to work. You cannot give up because life will throw any and everything at you to knock you off of your course but you have to hold on to that belief and that dream and that goal. If you stick to it and abide by it and work for it you’ll get it.”