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City of Baker School System's 2017 Valedictorian

Kayla Rayford was driven to be Baker’s Valedictorian

During her last semester of school, Kayla Rayford knew she had a great chance of becoming the top student- the valedictorian of her Baker High School Class of 2017. It was the same winning attitude she had when she arrived at Baker High School in the 9th grade. “I came here focused,” Kayla proudly shared.

Kayla was challenged with balancing her mounting school work, which included honors classes, with spending her evenings and some weekends performing in the Baker High School “Symphony of Soul” Band. The baritone and euphonium instrumentalist was also very active in the Beta Club. Kayla’s teacher’s expected the same level of commitment in the classroom that she dedicated to band practice, and she delivered. “It was kind of a crush of stuff to do. They put a lot on us every day,” Kayla recounts. The 18 year old channeled her responsibilities and her burning desire to be number one in an extremely positive way. She used a planner to organize her busy schedule. The end result was a 4.4 grade point average. Kayla successfully achieved her goal of earning the title of valedictorian.

Kayla said she could have easily been deterred from her goal by the emotions expressed by Baker High School students during the aftermath of the historic flood of 2016. The school was severely impacted and, the students and faculty were forced to relocate to Baker Middle School for the entire academic year. Initially, she and a number of seniors were sad about not being able to finish their last year at their beloved Baker High School. “But, I knew what I wanted to do,” Kayla said.

As she readies to leave Baker, Kayla prepares to enter Southern University in Baton Rouge. “Southern is my dream school,” she said. Kayla plans to major in chemistry, with the ultimate goal of becoming a chemical engineer.

In parting, Kayla attributes a lot of her success to the teachers and administrators, who challenged and encouraged her over the years.

Photo of City of Baker Schools 2017 Valedictorian standing outside of the school

Source: Ed Pratt, Baker School System Media Consultant