Hannibal’s Valedictorian, Salutatorian Reflect on High School Experiences

HANNIBAL – As Hannibal High School’s Class of 2016 celebrated its accomplishments during the June 24 graduation ceremony, the valedictorian and salutatorian reflected on their time in the school district.

Valedictorian Megan Norris

Hannibal High School Class of 2016 valedictorian Megan Norris and salutatorian Sydney Waloven reflect on their experiences as HCSD students.
Hannibal High School Class of 2016 valedictorian Megan Norris and salutatorian Sydney Waloven reflect on their experiences as HCSD students.

Megan Norris’ four years at Hannibal High School have been marked by athletic and academic success punctuated by a variety of honors, including being named the class valedictorian.

The recent graduate attributed her achievements to a strong work ethic and a passion to make an impact. Her determination helped fuel her success as she earned dozens of scholarships and awards at a year-end ceremony.

“I want to be remembered (by my classmates) as someone who got the job done,” Norris said. “If you have a goal, go for it. If you believe, you can achieve anything.”

That attitude served her well as a three-sport athlete and member of several school clubs and organizations.

She participated in soccer, basketball and softball, and was a member of the Yearbook Club, Key Club, National Honor Society and Student Council.

“Those experiences helped prepare me for the future, especially with the whole social aspect. Living in a small town brings people together and helps you communicate well with others,” Norris said. “Leadership is one of the key things that we focused on here too … we wanted to make sure we got people involved and got their voices heard.”

Norris is looking to bring her leadership skills beyond Hannibal when she embarks on her next chapter as a freshman at the University of Alabama in the fall.

She plans on majoring in engineering, with a long-term goal of owning her own engineering firm.

Salutatorian Sydney Waloven

With a dedication to her studies and a commitment to her school, Sydney Waloven’s hard work paid off as she was named the salutatorian of the Hannibal High School Class of 2016.

During the past four years, Waloven served as a member of Student Council, National Honor Society, Key Club, Jazz Band and was a member of the volleyball team.

She noted that being involved in school activities provided her with great friendships and memories.

“I’ll miss seeing my friends and teammates at Hannibal High School,” Waloven said. “Some of my best memories are from being on the volleyball team and making close friends along the way. I tried being involved in a lot of activities, because what you put into high school is what you will get out of the experience.”

In addition to the camaraderie that extracurricular activities provided, Waloven also valued being able to make a difference.

As a leader in and out of the classroom, she worked to create a unified student body and invigorate school pride.

“I tried my best to give (my classmates) what they wanted and make high school a great experience for everyone,” she said.

Waloven’s desire to help others will carry with her as she pursues a career in the medical field.

She will attend SUNY Oswego in the fall, where she plans on earning her degree in physical therapy.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart,” she said.