By Thomas Sellers Jr.
In this pandemic school year, normally the students of Millington Central High School are not on campus Friday.
But MCHS senior counselor Ashleigh Curry and instructor Candy Harris invited 10 seniors to the Millington Performing Arts Center for a special presentation. The students were on campus to find out their ranking for the Class of 2021 at the 2021 MCHS Top 10 Reveal.
A little mix up on the agenda had Harris calling out one name too early in front of the parents, faculty, Principal Mark Neal and Millington Municipal School District Superintendent Bo Griffin.
But once things got in order, Harris announced Wesley Percer, Gena Ann Parker, Lauren Horton, Maddie Horn, Eli Roberts, Abbie Joyner, Dalton Ford, Bronwen Davis and Salutatorian Dalton Fitzgerald.
Then the name Harris first announced was called again. Luis Carrillo was recognized for his rightful place as the MCHS Class of 2021 Valedictorian.
“I’ve already processed it,” Carrillo said. “I sat down and thought about it for a minute. It’s been a lot of work that has been put into this. A lot of sacrifice here and there.”
This coming May, Carrillo will share the stage at graduation with his best friend Fitzgerald. From science projects to other extra-curricular activities, Carrillo and Fitzgerald have developed a special bond.
“This is my best friend,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s always been he won’t let me go down and I wouldn’t let him go down. We’ve always knew we wanted him to be No. 1 and me being No. 2.
“We knew it was going to be that way since freshman year,” he added. “But we never let each other fall behind. We’ve always helped each other with everything.”
With Fitzgerald planning to join the military and Carrillo heading off to Northwestern, sharing the same city and school is about to come to an end for the friends.
“It’s a little bit saddening,” Carrillo said. “Like he said, he’s my best friend. He’s pretty much my brother. I’ve shared pretty much everything with him. From breakfast to dinner, we’ve shared and he’s family.
“It’s no other way to put it,” he continued. “And knowing he’s going to leave 5 days after graduation, it’s sad. There’s no real other way to put it.”
The top 2 said they will preserve through the next change in their lives after navigating the pandemic school year.
“It’s hard, ready for it to all be over,” Fitzgerald said. “But it’s pretty good knowing that all the stuff that came about acting as a hindrance we still succeed.
Carrillo said sharing the stage with his other nine peers overcoming all the circumstances was a honor.
“I’m proud of everybody on this stage’s achievements,” he said. “We worked hard. Everyone here has put in extra hours to do that extra project. Extra hours to put in extra work to catch up on a grade or two.”
- Wesley Percer
Plans to attend college, majoring in computer science/programming, to be a software/app developer-programmer
- Gena Ann Parker
Plans to attend Murray State University where she will major in Music Education to work in the administrative level of education to provide teachers and students the resources they need to be successful. Her ultimate goal is to return to Millington to serve the community that raised her. And, I plans to start her career as a middle school band director.
- Lauren Horton
Plans to attend the University of Memphis to major in dance and science to become either a dance teacher or a physical therapist.
- Madelyn Horn
Plans to attend Mississippi State University, majoring in Horticulture. With hopes of opening her very own combination floral shop café.
- Eli Roberts
Plans to attend the University of Tennessee Knoxville, majoring in Business/Finance, becoming a Top-Level Manager.
- Abbie Joyner
Plans to attend the University of Memphis, majoring in Chemistry to become an Orthodontist.
- Dalton Ford
Plans to attend University of Tennessee, Martin majoring in Biology to become a biologist or environmental researcher.
- Bronwen Davis
Plans to attend Christian Brothers University or the University of Memphis to study nursing to be a Nurse.
- Dalton Fitzgerald
Has enlisted in the Army as an Airborne Infantryman – Ranger, and I hope to stay in until retirement.
- Luis Carrillo
Plans to study Biomedical Engineering and political science at Northwestern University where he received a full ride tuition. He wants to develop his own corporation to innovate and advance technology, medicine, and policy around the nations and the world. Furthermore, he wants to rebuild his home country, Mexico.