Recent days have been filled with celebrations and goodbyes for the Class of 2013 graduating seniors in Berkeley and Dorchester counties. (Charleston County valedictorians will be profiled next week.) Here’s what the valedictorians had to say before they walked across the stage:
Crystal Burbage Hanahan High School
college plans: University of South Carolina doctorate in Pharmacy. I also plan on joining a choir there because I love singing.
Career plans: A career as a pharmacist if my plan of being a singer doesn’t work out. I’m also hoping to be able to make enough money to go on many vacations because I love traveling!
interests: Singing, dancing, writing music, reading, traveling and playing piano. Singing and cheerleading have basically been my world for the past four years.
school involvement: Varsity cheerleading captain, competitive cheerleading, choir vice president, All-County Choir, All-State Choir, ACDA Regional Choir, ACDA National Choir, Renaissance Club, National Honor Society, Miss Hanahan 2013 and Miss Congeniality. I’ve also had perfect attendance for 12 years.
family: Dennis and Sheree Burbage, owners of D.C. Burbage Meats in Goose Creek; brother Charles Burbage, 28, and his wife, Elizabeth Burbage, 28; and brother Chris Burbage, 24.
message to Fellow classmates: “Life is a long road and a very interesting ride. Buckle up! There will be many twists, turns, ups and downs, but don’t let that stop you. Although the destination is great, the journey is the best part. Like my Aunt Bobbie told me: Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
Michala Burges Berkeley High
College plans: Furman University, majoring in chemistry.
Career plans: Medical school to become a pediatrician.
Interests: Sports, math, competition, hanging out with family and friends and going to the beach.
School involvement: Varsity soccer, BETA club, National Honor Society, student government and teacher cadets.
Family: Susan Burges, third-grade teacher at Flowertown Elementary, and Doug Burges, AP U.S. History teacher at Berkeley High School; sisters Misty Burges, 15, Macey Burges, 13, and Maddie Burges, 9.
Message to fellow classmates: “To simply do what makes you happy while impacting the people who surround you.”
Asha Collier Cross High School
COLLEGE PLANS: Clemson University, majoring in computer engineering.
CAREER PLANS: To become a computer engineer.
Interests: Shopping, spending time with family and friends and surfing the Web.
School Involvement: Varsity cheerleading captain, senior class treasurer, Future Business Leaders of America, Student Council, Upward Bound Math and Science, Scholar Bowl, mass choir, National Honor Society, yearbook club and step team.
Family: Mother, Laurie Collier; and sister Madison Cuylear, 3.
Message to fellow classmates: “We must always strive for the best and use our God-given talents to accomplish all things that come our way. I encourage each and every one of you to face your fears and all of the obstacles brought with life because we can conquer the world. We are the world’s hope for tomorrow.”
Autumn Council Goose Creek High
College plans: Charleston Southern University, majoring in biology with a pre-professional emphasis and minoring in criminal justice.
CAREER PLANS: A career in a forensic lab as a forensic technician in a large city.
Interests: Mysteries, challenges and swimming. I’m the lifeguard at the pool at Charleston Southern.
School involvement: Mu Alpha Theta Math Honors Society and Math Team president, captain of the varsity swim team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, French Club, National Society of High School Scholars and National Honor Society.
Family: Grandparents Buford McCauley of Maybank Properties and Nicole McCauley.
Message to fellow classmates: “Today is a day to be thankful and inspired. Often on graduation day, we look outside for heroes, but I see them right here in front of me. We don’t have to look far for inspiration; we all have the potential to make an inspiring contribution to others by being true to our values and committing ourselves to lofty goals.”
Sean Kamperman Ashley Ridge High
College Plans: Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University, majoring in bioengineering.
CAREER PLANS: Graduate or medical school. As of now, he’s more interested in the latter.
Interests: Competitive swimming, tennis, kayaking, drawing and painting. He won an award at the Coastal Carolina Fair in October for a linoleum print he made.
School involvement: Swim team captain, student body president, Science National Honor Society president, National Honor Society treasurer, National English Honor Society and the Jefferson Leadership Awards Team.
Family: Brian Kamperman, a program manager for Proterra Inc., and Jennifer Kamperman, a registered nurse at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital; sister Kelsey Kamperman, 21, a recent nursing graduate of the University of Dubuque.
Message to fellow classmates: “Never stop trying to find success in everything you do. We’ve made it this far, which is great, but it’s only the beginning. We have our lives ahead of us, and no matter what happens, we must always continue to push forward.”
Dean Millare Stratford High School
COLLEGE PLANS: Clemson University, majoring in engineering.
CAREER PLANS: To become an engineer.
SCHOOL INVOLVEMENT: Marching band section leader and brass captain, BETA Club president, National Honor Society treasurer, Concert Band and Panjamdrum Steel Drum group.
Family: Dennis and Nida Millare; brothers Dennson and Dylan.
Diandra Prioleau Timberland High School
COLLEGE PLANS: Florida A&M University, majoring in computer engineering.
CAREER PLANS: To become a computer engineer to display my talents and abilities at an international company.
SCHOOL INVOLVEMENT: Future Business Leaders of America vice president, National Spanish Honor Society president, Technical Honor Society president, videographer for the varsity basketball team, Renaissance, BETA Club and Interact Club.
Family: Ralph and Almena Prioleau; siblings Ralph Prioleau, Jr., 22, and Monique Pressley, 39.
Message to fellow classmates: “Always believe in yourself and your dreams. God has given us each the talent and ability to effect change in society. Life may present obstacles, but you have the power to overcome them. When your dreams come true, remember those who helped you and utilize your success to be a blessing to others.”
Elizabeth Scannell Berkeley Middle College High School
COLLEGE PLANS: College of Charleston, majoring in economics and finance with the goal of an MBA.
Career plans: To become a financial economist with future entrepreneurial ambitions of starting my own business.
Interests: Reading historical books, writing and public speaking.
School Involvement: Varsity tennis, National Honor Society and BETA Club.
Family: James Scannell, a biomedical electronic technician, and Dianne Scannell; sister Jessica Scannell, 11.
Message to fellow classmates: “In this competitive world be bold, enterprising and active in searching out new opportunities. You and your country’s continued success depends on it.”
Lauren Simons Woodland High
College plans: University of South Carolina doctorate in pharmacy.
career plans: Retail pharmacist.
Interests: Barrel racing, horseback riding, tennis, the Bible.
School involvement: National Honor Society, First Robotics Team “Iron Wolverines,” Future Business Leaders of America, Interact Club and senior class president.
Family: Pete Simons and the late Susie Southerland Simons; and sisters Meagan Simons, 13, and Kayla Southerland, 19.
Message to fellow classmates: “Always follow your dreams and never let the fear of failure keep you from accomplishing them.”
Kristina Toney Fort Dorchester High
College plans: Clemson University, majoring in communications and minoring in Spanish.
career plans: She would like to work in journalism.
Interests: Writing, reading, listening to music and spending time with friends.
School involvement: Student body president, Spanish National Honor Society president, Beta Club and National Honor Society.
Family: Heidi Toney, a certified medical assistant, and Guy Toney, Air Force; and brother Joshua Toney, 14.
Message to fellow classmates: “Every person has the power to make an impact on the world, even just a small piece of it, if they find their passion in life and see it through regardless of difficulty or how long it takes. I encourage them to never be afraid to innovate, or to question the world around you, because that is the only way we can change it.”
Camerun Washington Cane Bay High
College plans: Winthrop University Honors College, majoring in biology and French.
career plans: A master’s degree in genetic counseling and ultimately a Ph.D. in human genetics.
Interests: Playing the cello, violin and viola; human genetics and learning French.
School involvements: Principal cellist and violinist of the orchestra, International Club president and National Honor Society secretary.
Family: Miriam Washington, a medical auditor, and Sebastian Washington, a FedEx courier; sister Amir Washington, 10, and brother Brandon Roper, 24.
Message to fellow classmates: “Everything happens for a reason. It’s extremely important to have a goal and then make sure you do everything in your power to accomplish that goal. Most importantly, be comfortable with who you are and be yourself.”
Richard Winter III Summerville High
College plans: U.S. Naval Academy to study aeronautical engineering or the University of South Carolina, majoring in aeronautical engineering.
career plans: A military career as a naval aviator.
Interests: Ice hockey, military jets, airplanes, fishing, going to the beach, playing violin and reading.
School activities: National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Beta Club, Navy JROTC, Summerville Hockey team captain and orchestra first chair and first violin.
Family: Richard Leo Winter Jr., director of manufacturing at General Dynamics, and Sue Winter; brothers Troy Miller, 28, Travis Miller, 27, and Trevor Miller, 22; sister, Sara Miller, 20.
Message to fellow classmates: “Do not settle for average. Go above and beyond the norms. Work harder than everybody else, overcome your obstacles, and be determined to achieve your goals. Do not be afraid to take risks. Take the risks and be proud of the job you have done. In the face of adversity, remain strong in your faith, adhere to your honor and integrity, and give it all you’ve got.”