PBHS names top grads
By PAT PRATT
Poplar Bluff High School has named Jackson Rideout the valedictorian and Christian Cmehil-Warn the salutatorian of the Class of 2016.
Both seniors hold a perfect grade-point-average and participate in a number of extracurricular activities.
Rideout, a member of National Honor Society, Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America and the president of the Young Democrats, says news of his receiving the honor came as no surprise.
"Not really," he laughed. "We discussed in class what our GPAs were and kind of just estimated who was in what rank by then. They told us at semester what positions we were in and our grades didn't really change in second semester."
Rideout will attend Washington University in St. Louis next fall in pursuit of a career in biomedical engineering.
"The anatomy class and my advanced placement biology class that we did this year kind of pushed me into a field in biology. And I wanted to be an engineer to begin with, so it just fit all the requirements," Rideout said.
Rideout says he enjoyed his years at Poplar Bluff High School and recounts as his most memorable moment an incident in freshman physics.
"Me and a bunch of my friends were having a really bad day," he said. "We were supposed to be making a pulley system and we all just broke down in class. It was a memorable experience, because everything we were upset about is pointless now."
Rideout is the son of Angela and Jeremy Rideout of Poplar Bluff. He offered the following words of wisdom for his classmates.
"Life is what you make it. If you want to have a good time, go and do that. But, as long as you try hard, you will get wherever you want to go," he said.
Salutatorian Cmehil-Warn participates in so many clubs and extracurricular activities at the school he could not list them all.
"In high school, most of my time was spent being in clubs," he said. "I'm in everything from National Honor Society and Beta Club to Drama Club, Game Club, choir, just a bunch of stuff. I also just like to read and hang out with my friends and do fun stuff like that."
Cmehil-Warn said his favorite part of high school was Mrs. Evan's sophomore English class.
"It was just kind of crazy. Me and all my friends were together in that class and we had so many shenanigans and crazy stuff we did. It was a time of fun," he said.
Cmehil-Warn will attend University of Missouri-Columbia this fall and pursue a degree in computer science.
"I have always liked dealing with technology, and it is also the forefront of what is going on. It is the source of a lot of the change in our world and I would like to be part of that," he said.
His advice to his fellow classmates - follow your dreams.
"You've only got one life, follow your dreams. Don't waste time doing anything else," Cmehil-Warn said.
Cmehil-Warn's parents are Paula and Sueanne Cmehil-Warn.
Seniors will participate in commencement exercises 7 p.m. today at Black River Coliseum. Doors open at 6 p.m.