Selma High Valedictorian powered by faith, determination

Published 8:38 am Friday, June 26, 2020

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One of ReNari Wells’ ambitions was to become Class Valedictorian at Selma High School.

Wells finished as the top senior in Selma High’s Class of 2020, a role that she will always cherish. Wells received her diploma as Selma High held a drive through ceremony on June 20 that began at Bloch Park and finished at school.

“It feels like my hard work paid off,” Wells said. “I set the goal to become valedictorian and I made it.”

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Kristi Shepherd, Wells’ daughter, said she’s thrilled her daughter finished atop the senior class.

“I’m so proud of ReNari, words can’t describe how I feel,” Shepherd said.

Wells, who closed the year with a 4.4 GPA and 22 ACT score, said she appreciated Selma High pulling off a ceremony despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We couldn’t do the ceremony that we all wanted, but I’m grateful we got something,” Wells said. “At least we got something.”

Wells, who has a dual enrollment degree in computer science at Wallace Community College-Selma, was disappointed with the coronavirus brought up an abrupt ending to the school year. Gov. Kay Ivey ordered the closing of K-12 schools statewide on March 13, forcing online classes.

“It was frustrating to have Selma High school year end because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wells said. “We didn’t get to have a last day of school, a prom and senior class trip.”

Wells said she enjoyed playing basketball at Selma and learned a lot from Lady Saints first-year coach Wil Morgan. The Lady Saints reached the Class 6A Southwest Regional Finals.

“I love the Selma High girls basketball program and I love my teammates,” Wells said. “It was more than just about basketball. It was about a family bond.”

Wells said she plans to attend Auburn in the fall and majoring in computer science down on the Plains.