Trinity Lutheran’s co-valedictorian nervous, excited to graduate

In just three days, Trinity Lutheran High School senior Hailley Peters will end her high school career, one filled with memories, accomplishments and lessons learned.

Although there is much to look forward to, there is just as much Peters said she will miss.

“It’s a mix of nerves and excitement,” she said. “I still can’t believe it’s here. I’m sad that I have to go away from Trinity because I’ve loved it. I’ve made a lot of friends, and I’m sad that I don’t get to be with them now.”

But with plans to attend Ball State University in Muncie in the fall, Peters knows there’s a much bigger world waiting for her to make her mark.

“I’m excited to see what the next chapter holds and how I can take the experiences I’ve had at Trinity to help further my education,” she said.

She plans to study nursing and specialize in pediatrics.

“My mom runs a day care, and I love kids a lot,” she said.

Last year, Peters served as a volunteer junior counselor at Camp Lakeview, a Lutheran summer camp near Waymansville. She plans on doing that again this summer.

“I just love working with kids and taking care of kids,” she said. “I just want to be there to make them feel better.”

Peters said she wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.

“It has blessed me a lot,” she said.

Besides Camp Lakeview, Peters also volunteers with Redeemer Lutheran Church’s Friendship Bible Class, which serves mentally disabled adults in the community.

“It has helped me get familiar and comfortable working with all different kinds of people,” she said.

Helping others is an important part of who Peters is. She has been on several mission trips to New York and has attended a national youth gathering.

“I enjoy working with people,” she said. “I would not be able to be in an office all day.”

Peters said much of her academic success has been the result of having great teachers at Trinity, including English and drama teacher Michelle Bauman and mathematics and science teacher Justin Vorthmann.

“I really like Mrs. Bauman. Her way of teaching is great,” Peters said. “She interacts with all of the students, and I feel that I can be more opinionated now that I’ve been through her class. I can state my opinions and have some argument behind it.”

Taking calculus with Vorthmann hasn’t been easy, but Peters said she appreciates everything he has taught her.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge that I enjoy,” she said.

Thanks to her academic record, Peters finished at the top of her class and will serve as co-valedictorian with classmate Sam Marksberry during their graduation ceremony Saturday morning.

She also has enjoyed her time playing sports and helping out at youth sports camps.

“It has been another great way for me to be involved and to get to work with kids,” she said.

Peters is a three-sport athlete, playing volleyball and soccer in the fall and participating in track and field in the spring.

With such a busy schedule, Peters said she is thankful her parents, Tony and Melanie Peters, always have been so supportive and encouraging.

“They have definitely been a big support in just boosting my confidence in everything I do,” she said. “They always try to build me up, and no matter what it is, they know that I can do it, and they will help me push through whatever I’m going through.”

She also thanks her coaches, including track and field coach Chris Crenshaw, for the lessons she has learned from them on and off the field, court and track.

Leaving the “small, family atmosphere” of Trinity to attend a large college is difficult, and that’s what she’s going to miss the most, she said.

“I feel like everyone’s got my back here at Trinity. If I needed to ask a favor, I would have a handful of volunteers,” she said. “Everybody knows each other, and you don’t get that at most schools.”

Now that graduation is almost here, Peters said her four years at Trinity went by fast.

“As I was going through it, it seemed slow, but now looking back, I can’t believe it has already been four years,” she said. “I still feel like a freshman sometimes.”

Peters’ advice to Trinity’s incoming freshman class is to work hard.

“A lot of freshmen don’t think it’s that important to work hard, but it’s good to get an initial good start and get involved,” she said. “If you don’t get involved, you’re not going to meet new people. You’re not going to get to experience all the things Trinity has to offer.”

Peters file

Name: Hailley Peters

Age: 18

Future plans: Attend Ball State University to study nursing with the goal of becoming a pediatric nurse

Accomplishments: Student government president, dance committee, National Honor Society, Student Ambassadors, valedictorian, recipient of Trinity’s David Sandhage Christian Service Award, played volleyball and soccer and participated in track and field

Family: Parents, Tony and Melanie Peters; younger brothers, Daniel and Max

Interests: Volunteering as a junior camp counselor at Camp Lakeview summer camp and helping at Friendship Bible Class for mentally challenged adults at Redeemer Lutheran Church; participating in mission work and national youth gatherings

If you go

What: Trinity Lutheran High School graduation

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Bollinger Athletic Complex at the high school, 7120 N. County Road 875E, Seymour

Number of graduates: 42

Valedictorians: Hailley Peters and Sam Marksberry

Salutatorians: Abigail Anderson and Grant Hackman

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.