Taylor Barr knows what advice she would have if she could communicate with the freshman version of herself.
“If I could talk to freshman Taylor, I would tell her to figure out a sport and play it. “I feel like I would have more scholarship money available,” she said. “And I would just tell myself to stick with it, in general.”
All-in-all, though, things have turned out pretty well for the unaltered version of Barr. A GPA of 4.96 has earned her the title of valedictorian of the East Wake School of Integrated Technology.
Barr, the daughter of Samantha and Mark Manning and Joshua and Cynthia Barr, is headed to Wingate University with plans to major in political science funneling through the pre-law program.
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She enjoyed the marketing and business aspects of the former small school for integrated technology at East Wake. But while learning about business made her more practical in the way she perceives everyday life, she didn’t believe it would keep her satisfied as much as she expects the field of law will.
“It’s something I’m good at,” she said of law. “When I’ve done mock trials in school, it’s something I’ve really enjoyed. It’s going to make me happy and is something that’s going to help me provide for an eventual family.”
While the Wendell resident made it look easy, high school has been an involved process for Barr.
She was involved in student government all four years and was secretary of the Student Council as a junior. She also participated in the Science, Beta and Gay Straight Alliance clubs and the Spanish Honor Society, all on top of working as a waitress at Boulevard Pizza in Wendell.
“There have been times when it was hard, when I got home from work and had four hours of homework,” she said. “But it was worth it. That’s the way it is sometimes, you know?”
When she does find free time, she likes to spend it reading or with family. But open spaces on the calendar are few and far between.
“I spend an unbelievable amount of time doing homework and, depending on the show, watching Netflix,” she said. “I try to watch Jeopardy with my family, but work and homework come first.”
Earning the valedictorian crown was important to Barr, but so was earning a college scholarship.
“If I hadn’t worked so hard for valedictorian, I don’t know if my grades would have been so high,” she said. “Being a valedictorian has been a long-term goal and having college paid for has been a long-term goal.