MFL MarMac valedictorian and salutatorian named

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Valedictorian Carl Davis

Salutatorian Kelsi Davis

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Carl Davis has been named the valedictorian and Kelsi Davis the salutatorian of the MFL MarMac High School Class of 2017.

Carl, who is the son of Robert and Mary Davis, said receiving the honor was a nice surprise.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” he shared.

Kelsi is the daughter of Chad and Annette Davis and Steve and Jamie Schlee. Being named salutatorian means a lot after four years of hard work, she said.

“It’s a big accomplishment that I’ve been able to work toward my whole high school career,” Kelsi remarked.

Throughout high school, Carl has been involved in National Honor Society, as well as basketball. He said academics has always been his biggest focus.

It was much the same for Kelsi, who said she’s always been academically oriented. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and devoted time to volleyball and volunteering.

“I’m very into English,” Kelsi said of her academic interests. “I’ve taken a lot of writing and reading classes.”

Here, Carl’s interests diverged from Kelsi’s.

“I’m interested in math and science,” he noted. “I’m not a big fan of English.”

Kelsi said her love for English was nurtured by MFL MarMac teacher Jasen Thompson.

“Mr. Thompson has been my biggest influence,” she shared. “He’s taught me how to be a better writer and to write in a different way.”

Although English hasn’t been his strongest subject, Carl said he’s also appreciated Thompson’s guidance: “He’s helped me become better.”

Both Carl and Kelsi said they’ve enjoyed having Adam Simon as a teacher, as well.

“He makes class fun,” Carl stated.

Her time at MFL MarMac, said Kelsi, has helped develop a strong work ethic.

“I’ve learned how much effort you have to put in,” she explained. “You have to put hard work into earning your grade and maintaining it.”

Carl said he, too, has learned the value of working hard. He’s also a strong advocate of having a schedule to keep yourself organized, and he encourages other students to try more challenging classes.

“Especially college classes,” Kelsi added. She began taking them as a sophomore and now has 24 college credits. 

Although the classes are more demanding—and there’s more writing involved, noted Carl—both students said college courses are worth the effort.

Whether it’s a class or a club, Kelsi said she hopes younger students will take the opportunity to try something new while they’re in high school.

“If you even have the slightest desire to try something new, do it, or you might regret it,” she said. “Plus, it makes high school more fun.”

In the fall, Carl said he plans to attend Kirkwood Community College, where he will pursue computer software development. He then plans to attend Iowa State University for either software engineering or computer science.

“I’ve always liked learning about how software works on computers and how it’s created,” he mentioned of his career choice.

Kelsi will head to the University of Iowa, where she’ll focus on pre-law, with a minor in philosophy.

She’s considered a career in law since seventh grade, shared Kelsi, when her civics class held a mock trial.

“I though it was really interesting,” she said, adding that she hopes to specialize in environmental law. “That’s something I’ve always been passionate about.”

Although he’s excited to graduate, Carl said he’ll miss the friends he’s made, along with the fun times he’s had, over the years.

Kelsi agreed: “I’m going to miss the people, but I’m also excited for graduation, to figure out what I’m going to do with my life. I’m ready to start making a change.”

Commencement for MFL MarMac High School’s Class of 2017 will be held Sunday, May 21, at 2 p.m., in the high school gymnasium in Monona. See the special graduation section on pages 8-11 for additional details and to learn more about the Class of 2017.

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