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Waldron valedictorian to study Kinesiology at Purdue University

John and Monica Douglas have now raised two Waldron High School valedictorians.


Madeline Douglas will lead Waldron’s Class of 2021 through graduation ceremonies Saturday morning just as her brother, Stewart, did in 2019.


“It was kind of a goal because my older brother was valedictorian. I put it upon myself to fill his shoes and make that goal,” she said Thursday morning prior to graduation rehearsal.


Douglas will again follow her brother’s lead and attend Purdue University to study Kinesiology to get on the pre-physical therapy track.


With a large gold “P” on top of her graduation cap, it was easy to rib Douglas that she picked a great school to attend like Indiana University. She was quick to squash that fun and say Purdue is a big part of her family.


“A lot of my family went to Purdue,” she said. “My grandpa went to Purdue. My dad went to Purdue. My brother goes to Purdue. I have many cousins, my aunt … it runs in the family.”


The school record holder in cross country, a cheerleader, and member of Student Council, National Honor Society and Sunshine Society, Douglas proclaims she is ready to leave her small hometown for West Lafayette.


“I think I am excited to see what more is out there,” she said.


Purdue is telling students they will be in the classroom this fall but there may be restrictions with regards to the pandemic. After losing two-plus months of in-class learning as a junior at Waldron, Douglas knows she can adapt.


“At first, it was kind of weird,” recalled Douglas. “Getting into a routine was easy and figuring out how to manage my time. I think I did that pretty well. I kind of liked being able to get up a little later and do things on my own time and schedule.


“I put it upon myself to get into a routine of waking up and running everyday and then doing my school work. Some classes would be really quick and some would take longer, it just depended on the class.”


Other than one close-contact quarantine period, Douglas was relieved to be back in school for her final year.


“My senior year went better than I expected,” she said. “We made the best of the year. I am thankful for all that we got to do.”


Douglas has been Waldron’s top-ranked student in the Class of 2021 since she was a freshman. With the goal set to stay there, Douglas stayed focused on academics throughout her high school career.


Now, it’s time for new challenges.


“I am thankful for my time here at Waldron but I am excited to be a Boilermaker,” she said.