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Top students to look to future, take on challenge

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Cannelton's Garrett, Myers earn Saturday graduation speaking roles

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

CANNELTON - Cannelton High School's valedictorian will look to the future and its salutatorian will take on challenges as the themes of their commencement addresses Saturday.

The graduation ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in the city's community center.

Jaci Garrett, the 17-year-old daughter of Brian and Michelle Garrett of Cannelton, earned the right to give the valedictory address by ranking first in the Class of 2010. She maintained a 4.0 grade-point average throughout high school and finished with an Indiana Academic Honors Diploma. She was an Indiana High School Athletic Association role-model athlete her sophomore year, when she was also nominated for Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd, and placed first in her school's Young Authors Fair six years.

Garrett graduated from We the Youth of Perry County during her freshman year, volunteered with the United Way Day of Caring in the spring of 2008, was a Hoosier Girls State delegate in the summer of 2009 and served with Big Brothers-Big Sisters for two years.

She participated in varsity basketball, softball and volleyball all four years of high school, serving in captain's roles her junior and senior years. She was also student-council president her senior year and served in National Honor Society for three years and Spanish club for four.

She was a volunteer assistant coach for the Junior Bulldogs youth basketball for three years and a similar role for the city's T-ball league for one year. She also participated in art club for three years and on the yearbook staff for two, serving as business manager her junior year.

Garrett earned a Lilly Endowment Scholarship and has been accepted in a physical-therapy doctoral program at the University of Evansville, where she also plans to pursue an undergraduate degree in athletic training.

Nakaa Brooke Myers, 18-year-old daughter of Bruce and Kim Myers, also earned an Indiana Academic Honors Diploma and was vice president for her senior class.

She was class treasurer and participated in Spanish and art clubs for four years, National Honor Society and student council for three years, Class A and Big Brothers-Big Sisters for two years and was on the yearbook staff one year.

Besides ranking second in her class, she also earned Young Authors and Artist's Fair honors and  attendance, honor-roll and various sports awards. She has participated in We the Youth of Perry County and was a Hoosier Girls State representative in 2009.  

Myers has helped Cannelton Democrats clean streets and flower "bump-outs," tutored younger students in media, math, spelling and reading, and participated in United Way Youth Day of Caring, painting signs and benches throughout the city and sprucing up buildings and their surroundings.

She played basketball for nine years and was captain her junior and senior years, volleyball for seven years, track for three and softball for two.

She works at Papa John's Pizza, where she manages other team members, among other duties.

She plans to attend the University of Southern Indiana to major in criminal justice, with an eye toward getting work in forensic science. She earned USI grants and scholarships totaling $5,700 annually, renewable for four years, an $8,500 Schergens Foundation and a $500 American Legion Post 142 scholarships.