EARLY — When Early High School holds its graduation ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Brownwood Coliseum, Alaine Cooney and Emma Loven will represent the Class of 2019 as the valedictorian and salutatorian.
Cooney, the daughter of Michael and Ethel Cooney, said of the valedictorian achievement, “It's a pretty big accomplishment. I feel pretty good about it because I worked really hard and my parents helped me get here. It wasn't all on my own.”
Loven, the daughter of Ta’ah Loven and Jason Loven, said of her salutatorian accolade, “It's an honor as part of such a gifted and talented and diverse class. We have so many talented people. It's very humbling to achieve that because I've been working toward that for a really long time.”
Cooney intends to attend the University of Texas and major in arts and entertainment technologies.
“I chose UT because of that major,” Cooney said. “I've always been interested in technology and the arts, and UT is the only university in Texas that provided a major like that.”
Loven, meanwhile, has plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in biomedical science with a minor in business.
“I hope to go into the medical field and go into dentistry or some type of oral surgery,” Loven said. “I've always been interested in math and science, they were my favorite subjects, and I've always been interested in the human body, anatomy has been my favorite class. I'm interested in helping people and being in the health field.”
Cooney has been involved with the Belles dance team where she served as first lieutenant, along with student council, band, Future Problem Solving, UIL mathematics, and UIL ready writing. She was named Most Outstanding AP Physics Student and Most Outstanding Dual Credit Statistics Student. As a member of Future Problem Solving, Cooney's team was the 2016 Middle Division State Champions, advancing to International Competition in East Lansing, Michigan. Her 2016 team also won the Most Futuristic Solution State Award. In 2018, her Senior Team placed sixth at the FPS state competition.
Among her fondest memories of high school, Cooney said, “Definitely Friday night football. I performed at every game, and every Friday we had pep rallies and I danced at those.”
Loven is the senior class president and has taken part in National Honor Society, Future Problem Solving, and student council, and has also been a member of the varsity softball, volleyball, and cheer teams. She was named Most Outstanding Student for Advanced Algebra I, Advanced Algebra II, and Pre-AP Physics. Additionally, Loven was named Volleyball Academic Player of the Year, Academic All-District in volleyball and softball, and received First Team All-District Softball accolades. As a member of Future Problem Solving, she was a state qualifier.
“I'll probably miss sports the most because I wont be in athletics at A&M,” Loven said. “I'll miss the competition and the time with my friends, but I'm looking forward to making new friends and being in new organizations down there.”
Along with her parents, Cooney thanked Kim Sandford for her support throughout high school.
“She was probably my favorite teacher on campus and the dance director, and she was always there for me,” Cooney said.
For Loven, she gave credit to her coaches, teachers and parents.
“I want to thank my mom for always pushing me but also supporting me because I tend to be my harshest critic,” Loven said. “She's always kept me directed, reminded me of God's guidance in my life. My dad has always been a big supporter and calmed me down and reminded me of my achievements. And my coaches and mentors always pushed me to be my best always.”