For the first time in the history of Junction City School District in Arkansas, two Black female students will graduate with two of the highest honors. Alexis Peterson is the class valedictorian with 4.0 GPA and next to her is Taykeetria Rogers who is the class salutatorian.
“It’s a great thing to me,” said Rogers, the salutatorian who apart from outstanding academically was also named all-conference and player of the year in basketball and a member of the all-state cheer team two times in a row. “It doesn’t seem like we should be graduating but it’s something that we’ve managed to accomplish.”
Rogers was also a member of numerous school clubs, a cheerleader and an athlete. She said, “I managed by taking it a day at a time. Focusing on one thing and when the next thing got here focusing on that.”
There also came a time when Rogers faced challenges mentally and physically when she suffered two consecutive ACL injuries while playing basketball. But she was able to overcome that and now she is headed to Louisiana Tech University in the fall.
“It feels good to be the top two black females because they have never had it,” said Peterson, the valedictorian. She is set to attend the Northwestern State in the fall after displaying an exceptional feat with a 4.0 grade point average throughout high school.
Peterson, who was also a cheerleader, a member of various school organizations, and an active participant in church and community activities said, “You have to take it day by day so that you won’t become frustrated with it.”
“Never try to change yourself,” Peterson gave a piece of simple advice to her fellow graduates. “Always try to be a better you.”