LEBANON — Lebanon High School’s top two students are headed to the best programs in the state for their chosen fields.
Valedictorian Audrey Parent, the daughter of James and Irene Parent, plans to study mechanical engineering at the Ohio State University. Salutatorian Brooke Bunce, daughter of Donn and Theresa Bunce, plans to study journalism at Ohio University.
Lebanon’s graduation will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 29, at the Nutter Center at Wright State University.
Through OSU’s Maximus Competition, Parent was awarded a renewable scholarship worth nearly $10,000; Bunce was awarded several local scholarships totaling about $6,000 and a renewable scholarship from OU of $4,000. The class as a whole was offered $3.2 million in scholarships, said Justin Schneider, Lebanon High School counselor.
In addition to the National Honor Society, Spanish and other clubs, Parent played soccer for four years and ran in track and field for three years. The 18-year-old, who graduates with a 4.38 grade point average, will be operating the Whitewater Canyon ride at Kings Island this summer.
Parent said she became interested in engineering during a career day in the seventh grade. An engineer described helping disabled people live more independently, she said, and “I thought making new products like that would be really fun.”
In her speech at this weekend’s graduation ceremony, Parent said she wants to tell her classmates about the value of hard work.
“It’s not all about making money,” she said. “You have to enjoy life. The key to success is working hard at everything you do.”
Bunce, 18, who was the National Honor Society president, was selected as English Student of the Year at LHS. For the past three years, Bunce has worked at the Hair N Now Salon and mentored a young Lebanon student through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program.
Bunce, who graduates with a 4.31 GPA, said being one of the top two students was “never a goal of mine.”
Bunce said she had her dad as a teacher in seventh grade. He treated her like any other student and would never help with homework, she said.
“Academics have always been important to me because my parents are both teachers,” she said. “I’ve always been in an environment where school came first.”