(05/16/19) For the first time in history at the Junction City School District, two African American females will graduate with two of the highest honors.

“This is the first time we have had a black femal valedictorian and black female salutatorian,” said Principal Joy Mason.

Alexis Peterson and Taykeetria Rogers claim this year’s academic titles as valedictorian and salutatorian.

“It’s a great thing to me,” Rogers said. “It doesn’t seem like we should be graduating but it’s something that we’ve managed to accomplish.”

Rogers is the salutatorian and will head to Louisiana Tech in the fall. She wasn’t just the school’s top scholar but she was a member of various school clubs, a cheerleader and an athlete.

She was named all-conference and player of the year in basketball and named to the all-state cheer team two times in a row.

“I managed by taking it a day at a time,” Rogers said. “Focusing on one thing and when the next thing got here focusing on that.”

Rogers had to overcome mental and physical adversity throughout her high school career. She had two consecutive torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries while playing basketball but conquered what seemed to be a defeat.

“It made me miss out on softball for two years but I came back even stronger and finished out my senior year,” Rogers said.

Alexis Peterson is the class valedictorian and will head to Northwestern State in the fall. She has held a 4.0 grade point average throughout her entire years of high school.

“It feels good to be the top two black females because they have never had it,” Peterson said.

Peterson is also a cheerleader and is a member of numerous school organizations. Being so involved in not just school activities but church and community activities has been no easy feat.

“You have to take it day by day so that you won’t become frustrated with it,” she said.

Peterson and Rogers may walk the halls for the last time but they will forever be etched in the school’s history books. Both agree they wouldn’t have made it without their parents, their community and God. Their piece of advice for the graduating class is simple.

“Never try to change yourself,” Peterson said. “Always try to be a better you.”