Braxton Curry: Family support helped her find the right balance

Academic success came easy to Braxton Curry, but she still needed to learn how to handle challenges in math and history. She is one of six valedictorian candidates at Iola High School's graduation on Saturday.

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May 12, 2022 - 3:15 PM

Braxton Curry is a valedictorian candidate for Iola High School. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

Braxton Curry still remembers what it was like to enter Iola High School as a freshman.

She was very nervous. Older students warned her that some teachers were “really mean and scary.”

Years later, as she prepared for her senior year, Braxton joined Link Crew, a group that matches seniors with incoming freshmen to help them transition into high school. 

“I saw how nervous the younger kids were and I wanted to help them,” she said. “I didn’t want them to feel like I did.”

And those rumors about mean and scary teachers? Not true, she said.

“If you are a good kid, they won’t be mean to you.”

HAVING a twin brother along on the journey also made things a little easier, Braxton said. 

Both Braxton and Ryker Curry have been named valedictorian candidates for Iola High School’s Class of 2022. 

The twins supported each other, and had several classes together. They shared notes, helped each other when they could and encouraged each other to succeed.

“We wanted each other to do good, so it definitely made it easier,” Braxton said.

“We’re very different. He’s very much involved in sports and baseball, and I’m more the arts and music type.”

She’s been very involved in FFA and SADD.

She also gives her parents, Heath and Heather Curry, credit for their support and encouragement. 

“They never forced me to get good grades, but they were always reassuring when I did so it made me want to keep going and make them proud,” she said.

“They’re very smart and hard working, and I want to emulate that.”

DOING WELL in school always came easy for Braxton.

She was so successful in middle school that when it came time to enter high school as a freshman, she decided she might as well go all the way and aim for a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. 

“I figured I could do the same in high school, and get recognized and rewarded at the end by being a valedictorian.”

Then came history classes.

Braxton had always earned high As. But in history, she had to work hard to come out of her classes with a low A. 

“It was challenging, but I appreciated being challenged. I did work harder and I had to dedicate time to study.”

But math classes challenged her even more. She struggled to maintain her A average.

She learned how to balance her time, and scheduled how much time she could spend on different subjects.

“It’s about having a good balance, not being all about school or all about activities but being successful in both.”

BRAXTON plans to attend Allen Community College for a year, then will transfer to either Wichita State University or Pittsburg State University.  

She’s not yet sure what she will study, but is considering graphic arts or design.

Next year will be the first time she and Ryker will attend separate schools. Ryker is headed to PSU.

“I’ll definitely miss sharing experiences and being able to help each other because we’ve always done things together, but I’m excited for new experiences.”

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