Coltrane is headed to new adventures

Iola High School senior Audrey Coltrane is one of the valedictorian candidates for Saturday's graduation.

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May 13, 2021 - 9:26 AM

Audrey Coltrane Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

Audrey Coltrane’s 4.0 was born of high personal goals, along with encouragement from parents Jennifer and Aron.

As she explained, “it was never something my parents required me to do,” but they taught her to “have high expectations for yourself.”

The effort has paid off. Coltrane is headed to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in the fall with a full tuition scholarship.

Along these lines, Coltrane said she was excited to live in a different part of the country, as well as make new friends.

She already has one pal waiting for her, whom she met on a mission trip Guatemala, and inspired her to attend Liberty.

“Basically a lot of things worked out to get me interested in it,” she said.

And although she almost changed her mind about attending college on the east coast,  last-minute scholarship money changed her mind.

Somehow, Coltrane also managed to stay highly involved while focusing on her grades, and has been active in National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and cross country/track.

She also held a communications internship at First Baptist Church and helped out on the family farm.

Coltrane said she faced several especially tough classes along the way, including college statistics, algebra, animal/plant science and trigonometry.

“I thought college trig was going to destroy me,” she said.

Despite all her hard work, Coltrane said it’s important for students to keep things in perspective.

As she put it, “Don’t be afraid to take hard classes, push yourself, but be reasonable and remember there’s more to life than school.”

And it seems looking beyond grades is something Coltrane plans to do as well.

“I don’t think a 4.0 is an expectation that I’m going to extend through all of college,” she said.

But that’s because she’s learned to appreciate a better school/life balance.

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