Melanie Murphree, Hannah McKenzie are top May grads

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Melanie Murphree
Hannah McKenzie

MAY — Melanie Murphree has been named valedictorian of May High School, and Hannah McKenzie is the school's salutatorian.

Melanie is the daughter of Ted and Sherri Murphree. Hannah's parents are Joey and Crystal McKenzie.

The two seniors, who served as drum majors together for the May Tigers marching band, are friends who are graduating with just a fraction of a point separating their GPAs.

“Our GPAs are like a hundredth of a point off of each other, so we’ve been pushing ourselves together since freshman year,” Hannah said. “We’ve always been competitive with each other, but we’ve never been mean about it or trying to undercut one another.”

Melanie said she plans to attend Angelo State University, where she will have an integrated major in business administration and marketing.

“My parents owned two businesses when I was really young, so my mom taught me some of the accounting and my aunt also is an accountant,” Melanie said.

Melanie has attended school in May since kindergarten. “My dad graduated from here, and my grandad, I think,” Melanie said. “It’s like a family legacy.”

At May High School, she’s been involved in basketball, cross country, track and band.

Her success has been the result of dedicating time to her schooling, and “going above and beyond, being intentional about my education,” Melanie said.

Sometimes it has meant skipping events she’s been invited to.

Hannah plans to attend Howard Payne University, where she wants to major in biomedical science.

“I’m not completely sure what I want to go into in the medical field, but biomedical science has a lot of the sciences that I’ll have to take for health care stuff, so it will open the door for me,” Hannah said. “For the last year of that program, I can specialize in what I want to go into, so I’ll have the first three years to decide what I like.”

As a May student, Hannah has been involved in academic UIL, basketball, softball, FCA and band.

“My dad graduated from May, but I attended Rising Star up until my fifth grade year, and then sixth grade year I came over to May,” Hannah said.

It’s taken “a lot of determination and hard work,” Hannah said of her success. “It just takes a lot of determination just to follow through with that and know that I’m setting myself up for success going into college and going into my career.”