By Christopher Smith
Most students would probably be happy with a 3.9 grade point average at the end of high school. Not North Murray High School graduate Hannah Porter. Only a 4.0 would suffice.
“I’ve always wanted to take the hardest classes,” she said. “I wanted to be on that stage (at graduation) as a valedictorian. I envisioned it. I wanted to be in the top 10 percent. I knew that early on in my life.”
Porter’s vision came true, graduating with perfect high school grades and walking with the North Murray Class of 2013 Friday night.
“It has been an awesome experience,” Porter said. “Going through North Murray was a great experience. It’s a place with amazing teachers, counselors. The staff and administration have always been there.”
What’s next for the North Murray success?
“I want to be a vet,” Porter said. “I grew up in Murray County all my life, on the farms and around farms. I was involved in agriculture classes throughout middle and high school. I did cattle work when I was a freshman. I fell in love with animals.”
That’s also the reason Porter joined the North Murray Future Farmers of America chapter.
“It took me all over the state, to South Carolina, to Kentucky, to Denver,” she said. “It was amazing.”
But it also meant a lot of extra work and time out of class.
“Overcoming a crazy work schedule was hard,” Porter said. “I have had so many absences through school. Most Fridays I wasn’t even in the school building. It was tough to catch up on work, but somehow I always pulled it off. I feel like I taught myself a lot because I didn’t have as much instructional time.”
Traits like being self-sufficient is what will get her through college, Porter said. She plans to attend the University of Georgia this fall and major in animal sciences before seeking out a 4-year veterinary program.
“College is one of the most important things you can do, especially with today’s economy,” she said. “Higher education is something (my generation) has to do. We have to go further so we can go further in life. People who graduate high school and find a job right away will not have as many opportunities later in life. That’s never been an option for me to go to college. I want to be the best.”
Porter said she wouldn’t have the drive without the influence of several family members and teachers.
“My parents have really been a pushing force behind me,” she said. “I just want to thank my family and all the teachers I have had throughout the years. I want to thank Dr. Maria Bradley (North Murray principal) for helping me through high school. Thanks to everyone.”