By Thomas Sellers Jr.
For years Hannah Hale, Taylor Hamblin, Brandi Holland and Katie Wilkes have been classmates.
Forever the quartet will be linked together. At the No. 4 spot in the Brighton High School Class of 2016, their names will be written into school history forever.
On May 19, on the Brighton Football Field, Hale, Hamblin, Holland and Wilkes set side by side with their 4.0 grade point averages and scores of 30 on the ACT as the four No. 4s.
It was almost a five-way tie for the spot until Shelbi Weiner emerged as the No. 3 and class Historian. Brighton 2016 Valedictorian was Dakota Benjamin and Salutatorian honor went to Lyndsey McDivitt.
Other members of the 2016 BHS Top 10 are Daniel Craig, Molly Hudson and Dylan Hazlett. But with four students holding one spot, Wilkes, Holland, Taylor and Hale took a moment to put individual faces on the No. 4 position.
“In the classroom I am pretty dedicated,” Hale said. “I do procrastinate a lot. Other than that, I do stay pretty dedicated to what I do. I’m member of the National Honor Society, FLCCA and French Club. I don’t much else beside school.”
While Hale focused most of her attention in the classroom, Holland was seen in action on campus and on opposing soccer fields representing the Lady Cardinals.
“I pretty much played soccer and I just graduated from fire school,” she said. “I guess I’m a firefighter now. A lot of people do ask me about that.”
Learning about fire safety, putting out flames and the life of fire fighting consumed most of Holland’s time lately. During that same stretch Wilkes was big into DECA.
“I was president for two years,” Holland said. “I just recently got out of it. Other than that, I take all the classes nobody else wants to take.”
Holland was a regular sight in Brighton Advance Placement classes. Nearby was Hamblin hitting the books and earning solid grades as well.
“I’m in a lot of school clubs,” Hamblin added. I’m big into FLCCA. I am an officer, vice president of finance. I take a lot of hard classes too. I worked in a church camp all summer in North Carolina. That was interesting.”
Hamblin will attend school near North Carolina with plans to enroll into UT-Chattanooga. She will major in Mathematic Education and take up art on the side to continue her interest in painting.
Wilkes plans to be on the UT-Chatt campus taking on the challenge of a double major. Wilkes plans to earn degrees in International Studies and Economics to obtain a job that will allow her to travel the world.
Holland has already taken steps toward her future goal of being a firefighter. She also wants to pursue being an athletic trainer and study marine-biology at Troy in Alabama.
And Hale will be leaving Brighton for school with plans to attend UT-Knoxville to major in Graphic Design and minor in marketing. The four classmates and friends will hit the road of life heading their separate ways. The girls admit that the bond they have at No. 4 will be with them wherever they end up.
“The fact that we share this now, when we look back in 10 years it will build this extra little bond that we have,” Hale concluded. “So in 10 years we’ll come back and remember we were in this exact same spot one point and time.”