Kelly, Daniels emerge as leading students at Luverne High School

Published 12:22 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

By Haley Mitchell Godwin 

Sophie Kelly, 2023 Luverne High School (LHS) valedictorian, and Mackenzie Daniels, LHS salutatorian, have left an indelible mark on their school, demonstrating outstanding academic achievements, leadership qualities, and a strong commitment to their community.

Principal of Luverne High School, Michael Kilpatrick, said that Kelly and Daniels exemplify what it means to be a Luverne Tiger and added that the students are poised for success as they embark on their collegiate journeys.

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“Sophie and Mackenzie are phenomenal young ladies that both have so many great traits that will continue to propel them to success,” Kilpatrick said. “They are both positive leaders and role models on our campus and within our community.

Kelly is the daughter of Thomas and Rita Kelly. Her educational journey began in Luverne’s K-4 program, and she has since remained a dedicated member of the Luverne Tiger community. Throughout her high school years, Kelly not only excelled academically but also actively participated in various extracurricular activities. She cheered for the Luverne Tigers from seventh to 12th grade and played volleyball from eighth to 12th grade, earning accolades such as being named an All-American Cheerleader and receiving the Leadership Award for volleyball in her senior year.

Kelly’s commitment to a fruitful education and successful future is evident through her memberships in prestigious organizations such as the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and the Spanish Honor Society.

Kelly’s dedication and involvement were not limited to sports; she was also an active member of various organizations like Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Future Health Professionals, and Future Business Leaders of America. Her leadership roles included Future Farmers of America president and events manager, and Student Government Association representative. She is also an active member of Danielville Baptist Church.

Her commitment was recognized through numerous scholarships, including the Troy University Chancellor’s Scholarship, the Alabama Girl State Scholarship, the J.H. & Winnie Hollis Scholarship, the Jim Hamil Scholarship, and the Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Scholarship.

Kelly has decided to pursue a career in nursing. She will be attending Troy University in the fall of 2023, aspiring to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. 

“I chose this career path because I have a passion for helping people,” Kelly said. “Being able to work with anesthesia and in the operating room is extremely exciting to me.”

Kelly likes to read and watch Netflix and enjoys spending time with her dogs, a beagle mix and a toy Aussiedoodle. 

Salutatorian Mackenzie Daniels has showcased exceptional dedication and leadership throughout her years at Luverne High School. Like Kelly, Daniels has been a part of the Luverne Tiger family since her early years in K-4. She demonstrated her commitment to both academic and extracurricular pursuits by participating in the Lady Tigers Volleyball team since seventh grade, receiving the Ace Award for best server in her senior year.

As a dual enrollment student at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, she earned over 30 hours of college credits. In addition, she obtained six hours of college credits from the University of Alabama during the past summer.

Daniels was actively involved in Future Business Leaders of America, the Brothers and Sisters in Christ Club, Distributive Education Clubs of America,  HOSA Future Health Professionals, and was the senior class president. 

Daniels’ exceptional leadership qualities and high academic standards have garnered her prestigious scholarships, including the Troy University Chancellor’s Scholarship, the Joe R. and Barbara Sport Endowed Scholarship, the South Alabama Electric Cooperative Scholarship, the Southeast Gas Community Service Scholarship, the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority scholarship, and the Lynn Beasley Memorial Scholarship, and the Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Scholarship. 

Membership in esteemed organizations such as the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta further testify to her commitment to excellence in her academic pursuits.

Daniels will attend Troy University to major in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Spanis and plans to attend medical school after graduating from Troy.

“I would love to return and be a family physician for my community,” Daniels said. “I want to serve and help them just as they have helped me.”

Outside of her academic and leadership endeavors, Daniels has a passion for baking homemade desserts for her friends and family to enjoy.

“They go above and beyond in everything they do,” Kilpatrick said. “Their tremendous work ethic has brought them great success during their time at LHS and this characteristic will continue to open doors after graduation and throughout their lifetime. I know they will continue to make Luverne High School and our community proud as they achieve great success and leave a positive legacy. It is an honor to call Sophie and Mackenzie Luverne Tigers and the entire Tiger Family is proud of them.”