Kayla Myers graduated as the Valedictorian of the Reagan County High School Class of 2022. She is the daughter of Scott and Shelly Myers. She received a total of $19,750 in scholarships.
Below is her address to the Class of 2022:

Good evening everyone.
I would like to begin by expressing how honored I am to be giving this speech. I would also like to thank all of you who have joined us to celebrate this town’s graduates. Thank you to those that have continuously supported us including our coaches, teachers, staff, and administration. I even want to thank those that doubted us because success, in my opinion, is more fun when you get to prove someone wrong. I want to personally thank my family, especially my parents; my grandparents; my brother Jake, or as most of you know him, Coach Myers; and Rebecca. They have never ceased to be, not only my biggest supporters, but every student that they’ve met in the last 10 years. I can still hear Coach Myers yell “Get Some!” after watching me get hit in the face with a tennis ball mid-match.
If that doesn’t mean support to you, you would not survive my family.
With the “thank you’s” out of the way, I can’t forget to say that I’m very proud of the graduates around me. The class of ‘22 has fought tooth and nail to reach this point. We’ve had a new principal and athletic director every year. I’m still trying to recover from my wonderful parents showing up to my last day of 4th grade in a chicken suit... and then in dinosaur costumes for my last day of middle school. Goal number one of graduation: eliminate the possibility of animal suits. We also worked through a pandemic that, even two years later, affected everything. There was inevitable chaos in our lives that had nothing to do with school as well. High school was simply... messy in every way imaginable. But hey, we’re here aren’t we?
Every person on this stage has a reason that they worked to be here. I can’t give anyone else’s reason, but I will tell you mine. This wasn’t about bragging rights, though I admit it was a regular conversation between me, my mother, and my Aunt Jenny that I need to crush Christian’s dreams. Despite my family’s questionable encouragement style, I’m not standing here because my goal was simply to win. I worked tirelessly to be here because of one person in particular who never made it to the stage. My late brother Will, who would have walked this stage two years ago, is the reason for everything I do in school, sports, and life. I lift for his used-to-be frail body. I’m a lifeguard for the little boy that couldn’t swim endlessly with me. I read for the brain that would absorb himself in every story. I’m determined to do all the things he was never granted for both of us. He made this moment worth it.
To future graduates, I have one piece of advice. One that will serve you for years even after you leave this building.
You get out what you put in.
And if this is true, then the measure of your success is not in the result, but in the effort you choose to give. The work you put in will always be worth it. You may not realize it today, tomorrow, or ever, but the work went somewhere-- even if it’s not where you expected. I also learned that from Coach Myers.
There is a lot to look back on from the past four years. We remember the losses, the wins, the heartbreaks, and the satisfaction. Every first and last game has a photo to commemorate it. I can look at the auditorium and remember our only Christmas Sing-Off, band concerts, the band lock-in, and a short-lived One Act Play career. Don’t even get me started on all the inside jokes the honors kids have. #bestandthebrightest am I right? I will see flowers and think of my mom’s never ending garden projects. I’ll see the constellation, Orion’s belt, and remember it as the first thing my dad showed me to look for in the night sky. Everywhere I turn I have memories to take with me.
Overall, high school taught me how to say goodbye to the things that made me who I am. The people we meet, the activities we do, the relationships we form, the struggles that we overcome - they make us who we are. Like many of these graduates, I was involved in something year-round, which also meant saying goodbye year-round. I’m no stranger to goodbyes, but they don’t tend to get easier. In a few months, we will say goodbye to this town, our families, and our friends. The track, the tennis courts, the gym, the football field-- we say goodbye to all of it. The good news about saying goodbye is that once one thing ends, another begins. As we move forward from this day, let us embark upon our separate journeys and remember all the events that shaped who we are today. High school may have just ended, but the rest of our lives are just beginning. Thank you.