Drew Dunson, valedictorian of the senior Class of 2020, got some advice that helped inspire him to keep striving to do his best even beyond the halls of Glen Rose High School.
"I had a cousin who told me, ‘Don’t peak in high school.’ He was top of his class," said Dunson, whose cousin graduated from high school in Indiana, and now attends academically prestigious Northwestern University.
"He was trying to tell me not to make high school my best years — to always try to improve myself," said Dunson, who tops the Class of 2020 with a grade-point average of 107.632. "I was always pretty academically driven, but in high school I definitely focused really hard to do as well as I could."
Dunson will also be attending a prestigious university starting this fall, but he chose one in Texas. He will be pursuing his undergraduate studies at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas this fall. As for what line of work he has in mind, Dunson indicated that will be decided later.
"I always knew I wanted to go to the University of Texas. I may pursue my master’s there also. I definitely want to do something with a financial background, but I don’t have anything super specific at the moment," Dunson said. "Possibly investment management or investment banking."
Dunson said that when GRHS Principal Kelly Shackelford notified him that he was officially named valedictorian, he was "kind of at a loss for words," and added, "It was cool seeing all the time and hours I put in over the last four years pay off. I had a good idea that I was first still, but I don’t like to take things for granted."
Dunson is the GRHS Student Body president, and vice president of the Senior Class. He is co-president of the school’s National Honor Society, and is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society. Dunson was nominated by school faculty members and chosen to participate in the Texas Boys State program.
He has also found time to participate in sports, making the varsity football team as a senior, playing varsity basketball his junior year, and playing the past two years on the Tigers varsity tennis team.
"I always envisioned the end goal," Dunson said of his extracurricular activities. "You’ve got to have a little fun along the way. There are ways to have fun that don’t negatively affect your grades. It’s all about time management."
In addition to the cousin who offered inspirational words, Dunson wanted to make sure to give proper credit to his parents, Stephen and Jennifer Dunson, saying they "have made numerous sacrifices for me," adding, "I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this without them."
Dunson has two older brothers — Ryan, 22, a recent graduate of Ohio State University, and Collin, 19, who is attending the University of Arkansas. Ryan was in the Ohio State marching band, and the family traveled to watch him perform multiple times over the last few years.
"I’m definitely ready for college and the next chapter to start," Dunson said. "But I’m definitely going to miss my friends around the school."