Ciara Venable, a student at The Dunham School for 13 years, was selected as Valedictorian for the Class of 2020.
During her high school career, Ciara took 14 honors courses and 10 Advanced Placement courses, ending her academic career at Dunham with an extraordinary 4.44 grade point average. As a result of her excellent work ethic and academic achievements, she has been named as a National Merit Scholar and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction.
“Dunham has really taught me how to listen. Every day in class we get the opportunity to hear from others, and I have learned how to embrace their opinions and how to have an open mind. Now I love having conversations and hearing others’ opinions on subjects,” Ciara said.
“I will miss the amazing faculty. I have never felt like I couldn’t have an honest conversation or ask for guidance from any of the faculty. They always make themselves available and it is obvious that they care about us.“
Despite a demanding academic workload this year, Ciara served as Publicity Prefect while holding memberships in the French Club, the Beta Club, the Institute of Leadership, the Art Club and Friends of the MAC. She also competed on two academic teams, Quiz Bowl and Mathletes. She represented Dunham at Literary Rally on both the district and state levels, placing first in French IV and second in French III.
As a four-year letterman on the Cross Country team, Ciara served as captain for the past two years, and competed as a member of the Track and Field team for the past three years. She qualified for the state track meet in both the 4 x 400m Relay and 800m Run and is the current school record holder for the 800m.
“I feel that I am leaving behind a legacy of hard work. I have always tried my hardest and have really tried to help others see how much they can achieve when they really put their mind to it,” Ciara said. “
Ciara, who has plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall as a finance major with an eye on law school, has received scholarship offers totaling $445,000.
“The best gift I take with me from Dunham is the community of Christians. I have grown up in a school where I can talk about God and learn more about him everyday. I think that the experience in Christ that Dunham has given me is incomparable,” she said.