VALE, N.C.––“Find your passion and follow it!”
That’s the advice of Regan Mitchem. The valedictorian of the class of 2019 at West Lincoln High School, Mitchem told The Herald more about herself this week.
Born and raised in Vale, she is the daughter of Wayne and Crystal Mitchem and the sister of Jordan Mitchem. Much involved in the agricultural pursuits of her native rural western Lincoln County, come August, the valedictorian will be off, appropriately enough, to North Carolina State University: an institution famed for its farming-related endeavors for more than 130 years.
“I have enjoyed taking many advanced classes over my four years at West Lincoln,” she said, “where I have been able to learn a deeper concept of the topics. My favorite classes have been AP (advanced-placement) biology with teacher Mr. (Brad) Newton, AP chemistry with Mr. (Kenneth) Hilderbran, AP government and politics with Mr. (Allan) Chapman and all five math classes that I have had with Mr. (Ronald) Patten. The topics covered in these classes specifically sparked my interest. These teachers always did their best to make sure we understood the information, while keeping class fun and interesting.
“At school,” Mitchem continued, “I was in the Science Club, FFA (Future Farmers of America), Mu Alpha Theta, the Beta Club, the National Technical Honor Society and the National Honor Society. Almost all of my free time otherwise has been spent working and showing cattle and participating in Four-H livestock judging or other Four-H activities. I have been involved in showing livestock since I was 5, and I have judged livestock competitively since I was 9. These activities have been a huge part of my life, keeping me busy, introducing me to some of my best friends and making me into who I am today.”
Mitchem has fond memories of her time at West Lincoln High, and she will always cherish them.
“Although AP classes are challenging and a lot of work, they have brought me the best memories,” she said. “I have had almost every AP class with the same group of friends over these four years and have enjoyed becoming closer friends with them through our studies. These AP classes allow for closer discussion on topics, and our teachers have kept class entertaining and interactive. It was always good to go to school every day looking forward to my AP classes.”
At N.C. State, Mitchem plans to major in animal science.
“With the desired success as an undergraduate, my goal is to attend and graduate from the N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine,” she revealed. “After graduating from veterinary school, I would like to work with my mother in her small animal clinic (in the West Lincoln area) and consider options of working with large animals. I would specifically like to work in large animal reproduction. I also would like to continue developing my family’s registered Hereford cattle operation.”
And Mitchem saluted the class of ’19.
“I have enjoyed going through school with my classmates,” she said. “I know that we all have great days ahead of us. West Lincoln High School has brought me four great years. Although it’s time for my classmates and me to move on, it will always hold some of our best memories and be a part of who we are.”
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