Weakley County Schools Announce Academic Top Spots

Dresden Valedictorian Natalie Weidenbach
GPA: 4.0
Hometown: Martin
Previous schools: Westview High School
Favorite subjects: Math and Large Animal
Favorite teacher: Kim Castleman
What academic memory will stick with you? I was invited into the Duke TIP program, which allowed me to spend three weeks in Athens, Georgia. I was able to study veterinary medicine at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the University of Georgia.
Plans after high school: I will be attending the University of Tennessee at Martin and studying animal science.
What impact has the COVID-19 crisis had on your next steps? Although the University plans on opening their campus for the fall semester, there is truly no way to tell. I will either start on campus in the fall or take classes online.


Dresden Salutatorian Dryver Finch
GPA: 4.0 or 100.8475
Hometown: Dresden
Previous schools: Dresden High School
Favorite subjects: Anatomy and Physiology, Math, and Sociology
Favorite teacher: Cassie King, Stacey Lockhart and Lauren Wilkins
What academic memory will stick with you? Two things I will always remember is winning the West Tennessee High School Ethics Bowl regional competition with my teammates and all of the 15-minute conversations at the cafeteria table.
Plans after high school: I will attend the University of Tennessee Knoxville and will be majoring in economics and political science.
What impact has the COVID-19 crisis had on your next steps? Covid-19 has changed how all of our day-to-day lives look like and has shaped how they will look in the future. For me, it has altered how I will register for classes, the fall semester schedule, and the way classes will be held.


Gleason Valedictorian Martha Nichols
GPA: 4.0
Hometown: Gleason
Previous Schools: Greenfield School
Favorite Subjects: English and History
Favorite Teachers: Ms. Phyllis Gearin and Mrs. Amy Orr
What academic memory will stick with you? An academic memory that will always stick with me is the overall love and support I received from my teachers and administrators. I would not have been able to get this far in my academic career without the support and guidance of the faculty at Gleason School.
Plans after high school: I am planning to attend the University of Mississippi in the fall to pursue a B.A. in Political Science in hopes to attend law school after graduation.
What impact has the COVID-19 crisis had on your next steps? While the Covid-19 crisis has not affected where I will be attending college, it will probably change the way classes and campus activities are carried out, and education will likely look much different when classes return in the fall. However, the crisis has given me a much deeper appreciation for education and face-to-face learning.


Gleason Salutatorian Katie Freeman
GPA: 4.0
Hometown: Dresden
Previous schools: Gleason School
Favorite subjects: Algebra, Chemistry, Sociology, Physics, Theatre arts
Favorite teachers: Ms. Phyllis Gearin, Coach Jason Stephens (Coach J)
What academic memory will stick with you? I will always remember the good times I’ve had with my friends at school and the teachers who helped me get to where I am today.
Plans after high school: I plan to study aerospace engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where I have been accepted into the Tickle College of Engineering Honors Program.
What impact has the COVID-19 crisis had on your next steps? It’s certainly made them more uncertain, however it has also allowed me to see other things much more clearly than ever before. I’ve known, from my travels throughout the world, that we were all connected, and the COVID-19 crisis has only served to enhance this belief. The future for everyone is more uncertain than ever, but it is because of this worldwide uncertainty that I believe that we should come together and support each other in these trying times. It has made me more determined than ever to study and learn to do whatever I can to help humanity.


Greenfield Valedictorian Lydia Hazlewood
GPA: 4.0
Hometown: Greenfield
Previous schools: Attended Greenfield School all 13 years
Favorite subjects: Math and History
Favorite teachers: Miss Linda Farmer and Miss Beverly Williams
What academic memory will stick with you? My freshman year I struggled with English, but I finished the whole year with nothing but A’s.
Plans after high school: I have wrestled with whether or not I should go to college away from home or closer to home. I decided to attend college at UTM.
What impact has the COVID-19 crisis had on your next steps? The Covid-19 crisis has made me think about where I want to begin my future.


Greenfield Salutatorian Kassidy Harris
GPA: 4.0
Hometown: Greenfield
Previous schools: always attended Greenfield School
Favorite subject: Mathematics
Favorite teacher: Throughout high school, Ms. Linda Farmer
What academic memory will stick with you? An academic memory that will stick with me is attending an area math competition at UTM as a freshman and receiving second place in Algebra I.
Plans after high school: To attend the University of Tennessee at Martin and major in Biology. After college, I plan to attend medical school with the intent of becoming an ophthalmologist.
What impact has the COVID-19 crisis had on your next steps? COVID-19 has made a huge impact on my life. It has shown me the importance of life. Through the pandemic, I have learned to never take anything in life for granted. No one is promised tomorrow. I believe it is important to live every moment as if it is your last.


Westview Valedictorian Cate Spencer
GPA: 4.0
Hometown: Martin
Previous schools: I have always gone to school in Martin, TN
Favorite subjects: English and Art
Favorite teacher: Mrs. Debbie Kerley
What academic memory will stick with you? Freshman year, I competed in FCCLA competitions in parliamentary procedure, and my team and I went all the way to nationals.
Plans after high school: I am attending The University of Tennessee at Martin in the fall and majoring in psychology.
What impact has the COVID-19 crisis had on your next steps? The crisis has caused uncertainty about many things, such as in-person classes versus online classes, and has caused my summer orientation to be online now.


Westview Salutatorian William Spencer
GPA: 4.0
Hometown: Martin
Previous schools: Martin Primary, Martin Elementary, Martin Middle, Westview High School
Favorite subjects: English, Algebra
Favorite teachers: Mrs. Glover, Coach Rutledge, Mr. Tucker
What academic memory will stick with you? I remember all the times I messed up or failed. I took these mistakes, learned from them, and became a better student in the process. For me, it was always important to know that I could not be perfect, and my inevitable blunders would humble and strengthen me.
Plans after high school: I will attend UTM and pursue a fulfilling career.
What impact has the COVID-19 crisis had on your next steps? I want to make sure to treasure and value my friends and family.

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