No slacking for Salutatorian Malori Maddox

Frenship High School announced its 2013 salutatorian a few weeks ago, but Malori Maddox is not slowing down after her pursuit of that position.

Malori first realized she had a shot at salutatorian when she was a freshman and FHS posted the listing of class ranks. At that time, she was third in her class. Although she said she did not think she could catch the top slot, she believed she could try for second.

“I had a goal,” Malori said.

Finding out that she was the salutatorian recently was a relief, she said, but she’s not going to let up on her studies.

“Grades aren’t locked, so you can’t slack off,” she said.

She said she does not believe she is the smartest person in her class, but she has worked hard during high school to earn top honors. Her teachers, coaches and parents have helped along the way.

Malori said help from teachers was essential as she missed a lot of time at school because of her involvement in volleyball, cross country, basketball and track.

“Sports are really time-consuming. There are a lot of late nights studying,” Malori said. She said she spent a lot of time studying while on the bus to various athletic events.

To stay on top of things, Malori said she used reminders on her smartphone, as well as an agenda, or calendar, issued by FHS at the beginning of each year. She said she really likes crossing items off of a list of things to do.

Learning time management, she said, “was not an option; it was necessary, crucial.”

Her first priorities are God and family, she said, but she also had schoolwork high on her list. Hanging out with friends was not possible all the time, she said.

“You have to sacrifice time with friends. I didn’t have much of a social life this year,” Malori said.

Her advice to younger students who want to do well academically is to never let up.

“Don’t every try to slack off on grades,” she said.

Courtney Ferguson, an anatomy and physiology teacher at FHS, described Malori as a “perfect” student.

“Malori, to me, gives me reassurance about hard work paying off,” Ferguson said. “I think Malori is the kind of kid who makes me want to be a better teacher. She gives me her best 100 percent of the time.” Ferguson said Malori is also one of the most athletically talented students she has ever seen.

Ferguson is Malori’s favorite teacher at FHS, “just because she loves her job and does it so well.”

Because of Ferguson’s work, Malori said she believes she is prepared for anatomy classes at Lubbock Christian University, where she plans to major in exercise sports science.

“I feel like I can just dive in to dissecting anything,” she said with a laugh.

Malori said she does not plan to try out for any sports at LCU. Instead, she hopes to focus on academics and getting involved in campus activities.

“I’m just going to be a student,” she said. “I’m really excited to go to a small Christian school after going to a big public school.”

But she said it is sports and the relationships with her teammates that she will miss most from her time at FHS.

“I feel like those relationships are almost more meaningful than the sport,” Malori said.

Malori said she is very thankful to be salutatorian, but she could not have done it without her teachers, coaches and her parents, Marray and Sarah Maddox.

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