• 61°

For Crum, education is a family tradition

Only a few weeks out of the classroom, Ellwood Christian Academy’s (ECA) 2019 valedictorian, Gabriel Crum, is already eying a career path that would have her leading students.

“My ultimate dream is to become an educator like my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, all of whom are Alabama State University (ASU) graduates,” Crum said. “They have helped a lot of people along the way and that same giving spirit is what I pray drives me to be my best and help others as well.”

Crum says she plans to attend Wallace Community College – Selma (WCCS) and eventually transfer to ASU where she will study Early Childhood Education.

Crum, whose life beyond the classroom includes reading and dancing, said it was difficult going to school with her father, who serves as the school’s Head Master, every day, but credited her parents with providing her access to variety of opportunities.

“Growing up in a small town can be very challenging because everyone knows everyone,” Crum said. “But, that can also be an asset as well. My parents tried to make sure that we maintain our balance in life and afforded us major opportunities for exposure through travel and adventure.”

For Crum, being recognized as ECA’s 2019 valedictorian means that years of hard-work and focus paid off and she encourages her classmates, as well as those that will follow them, to pursue the same traits.

“My advice to next year’s class and my classmates as they move forward in life is to keep God first in your life, stay focused, keep a positive attitude and always be obedient to your elders,” Crum said.