[slideshow_deploy id=’61934′]Graduating first in her class with a 5.1 weighted GPA Dakota Lewis has the highest grade point average out of the 10 valedictorians.

“Personal drive instilled in me by my parents was my biggest motivation during high school to maintain my grades,” Lewis said.

Lewis plans on attending the University of Alabama to major in biology and statistics.

“The University of Alabama is the perfect fit for me because they see leading a balanced, happy life as having true success and I love that about Alabama,” Lewis said.

Lewis started dual enrollment with Valencia Community College her junior year, racking up college credits and improving her GPA, while also attending high school on campus.

“Physics at Valencia with Professor Young was my hardest class. I studied every night and got lucky on some of my tests to maintain an A in the class,” Lewis said.

Adding to her study load from Valencia, Lewis was also active in multiple clubs on campus, including math club, MU Alpha Theta and the Chemistry Club. She has also been a varsity swimmer and varsity water polo player since her freshman year.

“My greatest personal struggle would be staying balanced. Sometimes going out and having fun is more important than staying home and studying because being happy is what creates success,” Lewis said.

With a full plate of school clubs and sports, Lewis also spent her time volunteering at Pershing Elementary and was part of a mission leadership team.

“[My biggest achievement aside from being a valedictorian this school year, was] learning to be confident about who I am,” Lewis said.

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