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LHS honors Valedictorian and Salutatorian


Courtesy Photo

Leyton High School graduates toss their hats in celebration of their graduation, Saturday in Dalton.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian are high honors when it comes to graduation time. If you are bestowed these honors it means you have excelled academically, receiving the highest and second highest grade point average of the graduating class.

This year Leyton High School awarded Valedictorian to Hope Dykman, who said becoming Valedictorian was something she did not expect but strived for and always wanted to achieve.

"It means I've worked hard and accomplished my goal," Dykman said.

Dykman lives in Gurley with her parents Wayne and Kim, sisters, Jessica and Morgan and her brother Cody.

When she is not striving for excellence, Dykman enjoys spending time with her friends and family, fishing and playing volleyball. She also enjoys riding horses, a passion she plans to pursue into college.

"I will study Equine-Assisted Therapy at the University of Wyoming," Dykman said.

After college Dykman plans to come home to Gurley and open her own equine center with her sister.

The honor of Salutatorian is shared this year by Kenny Ernest and Taylor Berner.

Ernest said this year's graduating class was very competitive and intelligent, so being selected to represent them was "very humbling and a great honor."

"I have always held my grades to high standards, knowing that these awards could go to anyone," Ernest said.

To receive these honors, Ernst said, takes hard work, perseverance, and dedication.

The only boy out of four children, Ernest grew up in Dalton with his parents Pat and DeAnn and sisters, Danielle, Rebecca and Rachael.

In his free time Ernest also enjoys spending time with loved ones, mostly outdoors and at the lake.

Ernest has enrolled in pre-dental courses at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Amanda Tafolla-Sutton / Sun-Telegraph

Leyton High School Class of 2017 Valedictorian and Co-Salutatorian's Left: Co-Salutatorian Kenny Ernest, Valedictorian, Hope Dykman, Co-Salutatorian, Taylor Berner.

"Once I have earned my Bachelor's Degree, I will attend dental school to earn my Doctorate of Dental Sciences," Ernest said, "with plans to attend residences to practice as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon."

Sharing the Salutatorian title is Taylor Berner, a Dalton native who grew up across the street from Leyton High School.

Berner said she set her sights on Valedictorian or Salutatorian her freshman year.

"It is such an honor to have this title," Berner said."It shows the hard work and dedication all three of us have had toward our academics."

Berner enjoys reading, playing sports and hanging out with friends as well as watching Netflix and "eating A LOT."

She plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to pursue a degree in Nursing with the goal of becoming a traveling nurse.

"To become Salutatorian, it takes endless hours spent working on homework, speeches, etc.," Berner said. "It definitely was not easy, but it was worth it."


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