Paullesia Crum represented the 2013 graduating class of Ellwood Christian Academy as valedictorian. --Katie Wood
Paullesia Crum represented the 2013 graduating class of Ellwood Christian Academy as valedictorian. -- Katie Wood

Wanting to follow in her mom’s teaching steps

Published 7:48pm Friday, May 24, 2013

Eighteen-year-old Paullesia Crum graduated first in her class at Ellwood Christian Academy Tuesday night and plans to continue in her pursuit of education and excellence.

Crum was awarded a scholarship to Wallace Community College Selma, where she plans to attend in the fall for all of her core classes before transferring to Alabama State University, where she will major in early childhood education.

Crum said her parents, Gary and Alesia Crum, were excited but not really surprised when they found out she would be valedictorian for Ellwood’s class of 2013.

“They know what kind of person I am. They know that when I start something I’m going to finish it,” Crum said with a smile.

Her parents are the ones, she said, who continued to push her towards excellence, motivating her to pursue education and extracurricular activities.

“I like the way they pressure me to do so much, because at the end I got a big reward — I’m valedictorian of the class,” she said, noting that she was able to balance volleyball, cheerleading and in previous years softball in addition to her academic course load. “It really motivated me, being involved in all my activities and knowing I could do my work at the same time.”

For Crum, a love for education runs in the family as she said she hopes to step into her mother’s role as a teacher.

“By the time I graduate college with a master’s degree, my mom, she will have done 25 years as a teacher. My plan and my hope and dream is to come back to her classroom,” she said. “That’s my plan; it’s what I’m aiming for.”

Crum said her favorite classes at Ellwood included her Black History course and English class, and her favorite memories include getting ready for football and basketball games and just the excitement of playing sports.

The thing she said she will miss most about her class of 26 seniors is how close they all became.

“Now everybody is going to where they wanted to go ever since they were young — military, army, different colleges out of state — I’m really going to miss everybody bonding.”

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