AHS val, sal shine in academics and sports

AHS val, sal shine in academics and sports
Posted on 05/06/2020
AHS val, sal shine in academics and sports


By Toni Garrard Clay

Athens ISD Communications Coordinator


Athens High School Class of 2020 Valedictorian Taylor Stiles and Salutatorian Klayton House are both fierce competitors. In addition to her obvious AHS val, sal shine in academics and sports

academic accomplishments, Stiles is a multi-sport athlete who counts a trip to the soccer state tournament her freshman year as one the most important experiences she had as a Hornet. For his part, House, also a scholar and an athlete, has been laser focused on a future in the military and is but a few months away from the starting line of a future Army career.


Both will graduate on Friday, May 29 — though whether that ceremony will be in-person or virtual remains to be determined thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that has altered spring school semesters across the country.


Stiles will graduate with a 4.0 GPA, and a 109.461 on a 100-point scale. As a member of AISD’s Pinnacle Early College High School program, she will also have an associate’s degree from Trinity Valley Community College. She plans to attend the University of Oklahoma as a finance major in the fall.


Stiles moved to Athens from McKinney midway through her fourth-grade year. “Leaving my friends was hard,” she said, “but it didn’t take long to make new friends. By the end of the year, I felt at home.”


In high school, Stiles earned the distinction of becoming a four-year Athens Public Education Foundation Superintendent’s Scholar. She served as an officer of the National Honor Society, was a member of the Kiwanis Key Club, was selected as an usher her junior year, and voted Student of the Month her senior year. Stiles played varsity soccer for four years, serving as team captain her junior and senior years. She was on the Lady Hornet soccer team that went to the state tournament in 2017 and earned First-Team All-District recognition in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She ran varsity track for three years, qualifying for regionals in 2017, and played varsity volleyball for three years, earning the distinction of Academic All-State her senior year.


“Sports were my favorite thing about high school,” Stiles said. “I loved the competition and the friendship with my teammates.”


Stiles is the daughter of Blake and Claudia Stiles of Athens.


House will graduate with a 4.0 GPA, and a 107.504 on a 100-point scale. Born in Athens, he has attended school at AISD since kindergarten at Bel Air Elementary. In fact, when asked to name one teacher who most positively impacted his life, he named his first-grade teacher, Starla Ingram, who retired in 2012.


“She saw my potential,” he said, adding with wry humor: “If I wasn’t doing right, she straightened me up. It stuck out to me that I’d better get myself together.”


In high school, House served as class president, student council representative, was a captain for the football team, and was on the golf and powerlifting teams. He is a two-time regional qualifier for powerlifting and was named First-Team Academic All-State in football. He also competed for the speech and debate team, qualifying for state his junior year. House will be attending Texas A&M University in the fall, joining the Aggie Corps of Cadets on a four-year Army ROTC scholarship, while majoring in engineering.


“I’ve always wanted to join the military,” he said. After graduating, he’ll become an Army officer and hopes to train to fly Apache helicopters. “Whatever life throws at me, I’ll give it my best.”


House is the son of Chris House and Amanda Jennings.


The following is a list of the top 10 percent of Athens High School graduates, in order of rank: Taylor Stiles, Klayton House, Jadyn Harris, Brenda Ruvalcaba, Ryan Porter, Eliza Spurling, Gavvy Lott, Madeline Treadway, Ethan Pace, Davis Young, Sydney Briggs, Leslie Alsobrook, Chelsey Young, Ahaja Baxter, Ana Barcenas, Jacob Campbell, Ashley Moreno, Jetlira Ademaj, Cindy Lopez and Joel Vasquez.


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