Eleora Ellison and Jaclynn Schwander have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for the 2022 graduating class at Dayton High School. Both young ladies plan to attend universities within Texas this fall.
Ellison, the daughter of Trey and Jonnie Ellison, is heading to Texas A&M University after high school graduation where she plans to major in mechanical engineering and work toward a career in design and automation.
Schwander, the daughter of Paul Schwander and Meadow Noyer, will attend Rice University in Houston to work on double majors in scientific writing and biological sciences, and later researching career options.
Both Ellison and Schwander are members of Crosby Church.
While in high school, they each have taken a handful of dual credit courses, preferring to focus on their high school academics and extracurricular activities such as National Honor Society (NHS), Business Professionals of America (BPA) and Youth for Christ.
Ellison has served as vice president of NHS, took part in the varsity cross country team and drama club, and was the manager of the varsity boys’ soccer team.
Schwander served as the state vice president for BPA and co-president for Youth for Christ. Additionally, she has served as president of the Science National Honor Society, president of the Drama Club and participated in Dayton High School theater productions.
Ellison has earned a scholarship from the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation. Schwander earned a $20,000 scholarship from Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a $1,000 scholarship from school science fair and $2,000 from the Dayton Pioneer Students Association.
When asked to name teachers who have made a great impact on their lives, Ellison said, “Those that genuinely loved me impacted me because they revealed to me that anyone with any job can be life-changers.” Schwander credited Dayton High School English teachers Isaac Monts and Ronald Wright.
“Mr. Monts taught me that working hard truly does pay off and [he] reignited my passion for writing. Dr. Wright has helped me figure out who I really am,” Schwander said.
As they leave high school behind them, the two top students have advice for those who follow.
“Recognize your potential and don’t make the future ‘you’ regretful,” said Ellison.
Schwander’s advice is to put God first.
“The best advice I’ve been given is to seek first the kingdom [of God] and all will be added,” Schwander said, adding that students should work diligently in school and build family relationships as they will pay off.
Dayton High School’s graduation ceremony will be held on Friday, May 27, 10 a.m., at the Montagne Center at Lamar University in Beaumont.