The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

May 3, 2014

Raleigh County high school seniors honored at luncheon

Raleigh County Schools Superintendent’s Senior Scholars to graduate summa cum laude

BECKLEY — Jessica Heimer of Shady Spring started working at a grocery store when she was 15 years old.

She “jumped” from the grocery store to fast food. Now, two years later, she works as a crew trainer for a fast food restaurant — a promotion.

Heimer, 17, was also one of a record-setting 49 high school seniors who were honored at the annual Raleigh County Schools Superintendent’s Senior Scholars luncheon Friday for graduating summa cum laude this May.

“Anything that I wanted, I had to work for it,” said Heimer, who has intentions of becoming an art teacher and plans to attend Concord University in the fall to major in education. “Nothing was handed to me.”

Heimer’s parents, Michael and Jennifer McKeever, said their “secret” to successful childrearing is that they emphasized the importance of a strong work ethic and gave Heimer opportunities to develop her own work ethic.

“Homework was first,” said Jennifer McKeever. “I’d make sure she took care of anything with her grades first, and then we gave her stuff to make her have the responsibility for her things.

“The more work ethic she had, the more freedom she had to do her own thing.”

Michael McKeever said Heimer didn’t disappoint them, even purchasing her own car.

“She works and has a 4.0 average,” he noted. “You can’t ask better than that.”

As she was honored Friday at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center with a “Superintendent’s Senior Scholars” award, Heimer said she’s finished with high school and looking ahead to her future.

“I think I did a pretty good job of high school,” she said. “I’m kind of anxious to go ahead and graduate.”

Principals from Independence, Liberty, Shady Spring and Woodrow Wilson high schools handed out awards to the seniors, following a prayer by Raleigh BOE member Richard Jarrell and speeches by BOE Vice President Larry Ford and board spokesman Dave Traube.

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