Elizabeth Shea' Jones started preparing for her future and setting academic goals early on. She can take pride in a big accomplishment she is this year's salutatorian of Walnut Springs High School.

I have achieved one of my academic goals, with many more yet to come, she said. I had many teachers and my parents who helped me succeed. They helped push me that extra little bit.

Jones is the daughter of Karen and Paul Jones.

She plans to attend Sul Ross University in Alpine to run cross-country and play basketball. She also plans to major in criminal justice and wants to become a game warden.

Jones said she started taking college classes in her junior year in high school and will graduate high school with 25 hours of college completed through Hill College in Hillsboro. That will put her into college as a sophomore.

Asked what advice she would give underclassmen contemplating their own futures, Jones recommended that students planning to go to college begin preparing as early as possible.

If you are planning on attending college after high school, I recommend that you start taking college classes as soon as you can, Jones said. It will make things a lot easier.