DARKE COUNTY — Three cousins graduated this year from different schools at the top of their classes.
Carrie Baker was valedictorian of her class at Franklin Monroe with an above 4.0 grade point average, Casey Puckett was a co-valedictorian at Tri-Village with a 4.0 average, and Megan Jones one of five salutatorians at Ansonia with a 3.99 grade point average.
All are descendants of the late Donald and Evaline Myers.
Baker, daughter of Mark and Angie (Meyers) Baker, was on the volleyball, softball and basketball teams as well as being a member Academic Team, student council, yearbook [as editor], Business Professionals of America and was inducted into National Honor Society (NHS) as a junior.
She plans on attending Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, majoring in biochemistry with a pre-medical emphasis.
“I hope after medical school I can get into being a pediatrician some day,” said the graduating senior, who has two older brothers.
Scholarships she received include Wayne HealthCare, BASF, an alumni scholarship and one from the Darke County Foundation.
The 18-year-old is the granddaughter of Ron Myers and Ann and Roger Baker.
She said she and cousin Casey Puckett are pretty close.
“We went to pre-school together,” she said. “We’re only six months apart. My mom and his mom are sisters.”
Puckett, who is on a family vacation in Florida this week, said he will begin classes in July and be in school year-round at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, where he will major in mechanical engineering.
“This was our last chance for a family vacation before I leave,” he said via telephone.
Casey said he was awarded a Presidential Scholarship of $16,000 for five years and received a local scholarship. He also received a lot of merit scholarships, including one to Valparaiso, the University of Dayton and Wright State University, the latter for free tuition.
The son of Christopher Puckett, with whom he resides and Kimberly Puckett, he has a younger brother. His grandparents are Sueann and the late Carroll Puckett and Ron and the late Tina Myers.
While in school, Casey was on the swim team for four years, in cross country his freshman and sophomore years, in band in junior high, in NHS for two years, student council his junior year and was vice president of his freshman and sophomore year classes.
Jones, 18-year-old daughter of Darrell and Erin (Wagner) Jones, said she received a full ride to Wright State University.
“I received $34,000 scholarship through the Hope Foundation and I will get it after the first semester at Wright State,” she said. “I also received a $1,000 Ansonia Alumni Association scholarship.”
Jones, who has a sister two years older attending nursing school, will be majoring in human resource management.
“I have plans to work at a small, or maybe a large, company in Ohio and work in the human resource department,” she said.
In school, Jones was in track for one year and was a member of National Honor Society, student council for four years, Spanish Club, College Club which lasted a year and was president of her class her junior year.
She is the granddaughter of Kay (Myers) Jones and Rick Jones [who died two days before her graduation] as well as Karen and Jerry Wagner, and the great-granddaughter of Paul and Betty Jones.