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Valedictorian runs in Ferriday family

Rod Guajardo / The Natchez Democrat — Ferriday High School senior Kiana Henderson, right, and her mother, Sharon, sit on a bench outside the school. Kiana was named valedictorian of her class — an honor Sharon received in 1989 when she graduated from FHS.
Rod Guajardo / The Natchez Democrat — Ferriday High School senior Kiana Henderson, right, and her mother, Sharon, sit on a bench outside the school. Kiana was named valedictorian of her class — an honor Sharon received in 1989 when she graduated from FHS.

FERRIDAY — Kiana Henderson isn’t the first in her family to be named Ferriday High School’s valedictorian.

In 1989, her mother, Sharon Henderson was also named the valedictorian of her Ferriday High School class.

“We never pressured her to be the valedictorian,” Sharon Henderson said. “But, it is a nice coincidence.”

Kiana Henderson will receive her diploma with a 3.96 GPA. After graduation, Henderson plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Monroe to study pharmacology.

In her time at Ferriday High School, she participated in a myriad of extracurricular activities, including student council and 4-H.

Henderson applied to seven total schools — including Grambling State University and Northwestern State University — but ultimately picked ULM because of the pharmacology program.

Though she is excited to begin college, she said she will miss several things about Ferriday High School.

“One thing I’ll miss is my teachers. I think my favorite teacher would have to be (Claudia White). She was always there for me if I needed to ask a question.”

Henderson said she also miss the energy and excitement surrounding football games.

Enrolling at ULM will not be her first college experience. She previously took part in a dual-enrollment program, allowing her to gain college credits while enrolled in high school.

“I’d like to graduate early,” Henderson said. “It is going to take six years to get it all done. It would be nice to make it as quick as possible.”

Though she will leave for Monroe soon, Henderson plans to visit Ferriday High School regularly.

On graduation day, Henderson will deliver a speech as the valedictorian.

“I’m going to tell them that they can be anything they want to be,” she said. “I’m a little nervous about speaking, but it is an honor to be named the valedictorian. It is something I’m very proud of.”