The Silsbee High School Class of 2018 Salutatorian is Neeleigh Smith. After graduation, her plan is to attend Stephen F. Austin University to study nursing.
Smith says her mom is a nurse practitioner and that helped lead her to the nursing career path. “I’ll probably start out as a travel nurse and in a few years come back and get my nurse practitioner’s degree.”
The ambitious graduate participated in a variety of activities and organizations while she was attending SHS and some of those include: Student council, member of the NHS (National Honor Society), Key Club, UIL Academics – Computer Science and Mathematics, Homecoming Court (Homecoming Queen her senior year), Diamond Darlings, Cross Country Varsity, Silsbee Bass Club, Varsity Softball, Junior Varsity and Varsity Volleyball, Twelve Star Star Student, Presidential Award, and Marine Corps Athlete Award.
In addition to preparing for SFA this summer, she will be taking trips to Disney World and Wisconsin.
During her time at SHS, Smith says there are two teachers who were most influential for her, Ms. Wehmeyer (Anatomy and Physiology) and Ms. Waters (Calculus). Of Ms. Wehmeyer, she said, “She really pushed me to go into the healthcare field and gave me a lot of good information and encouragement.”
Smith said Ms. Waters stayed after hours a lot of times to help her prepare for AP Calculus tests and “just provided me with a lot of support.”
One of her fondest memories from her time at SHS was being honored with Homecoming Queen this year. “Just knowing that my class wanted me to represent Silsbee as their Homecoming Queen was just awesome.”
As she contemplates her upcoming move from Silsbee, Smith says she will probably miss her teachers and friends from high school because she has been with them for so long.
“I’m pretty excited. I’ve been in Silsbee my whole life. I’m excited about the independence, but nervous because it’s something new,” she said.
Her advice for incoming freshmen: “Work hard your whole high school career because your grades count. I started out in fifth place and got all the way to second. Hard work and determination.”