Dear fellow community members,

High school was a time that I will forever treasure in my heart. Like most freshmen, I walked through the doors of Durant anxious and overwhelmed by everything that would be in store for me over four years. However, I would not have traded any memory, stressful exam or experience for the world.

I had not always strived to be in this position; in fact, my original goal was to graduate in the top 10 of my class because of a silly bet I had made with my mom when I was merely 6 years old. My ambitions began changing towards the end of my sophomore year, though, as I began inching my way closer to the position of valedictorian.

As I began to undertake tougher classes, calculating my GPA and the credits I would need to obtain a higher class rank, I never lost my support system and these people were the ones who kept me enduring through this race. My coursework increased, but I never lost sight of myself or the values I held true to my heart because of the wonderful people that surrounded me.

Even as I pushed myself to become valedictorian, I wanted to maintain balance in my life because there is not a second chance to have the ‘high school experience.’ If there is one lesson that was brought to my attention during these four years, it is that enjoying what you do is more important than doing what others expect you to do. Roaming those halls for years, I too often saw people who would conform to the ideas of how others viewed them instead of discovering who they truly were.

For anyone entering high school, still in high school, or about to leave high school, those years will seem to be the most defining moments of your life, and they just may be. But, do not let others define you or your happiness; allow yourself to discover your own joys and passions.

Durant High School became my second home and my fellow Cougars will always be in my heart.

Miranda Bihler
The Co-Valedictorian
Durant High School
Class of 2020

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