Grads say they ‘did the best they could’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – As early as ninth grade, both Joseph Odenwald and Will Miller knew they wanted to attain the highest grade point averages in their graduating class.

&uot;We didn’t challenge each other or anything — we just did the best we could,&uot; Odenwald said.

And all the hard work paid off, with Odenwald and Miller being named Huntington High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.

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But the hard work is not over, and both graduates realize it.

In the speeches they gave at Huntington’s graduation ceremony in May, both Odenwald and Miller emphasized the importance of being responsible and working to better one’s community.

&uot;I, along with my classmates, have a long way to go. Along with freedom comes more responsibilities,&uot; Miller said during his speech. &uot;We’re just completing the first phase the best is yet to come.&uot;

Odenwald challenged his classmates to choose to do what is right rather than what is simply convenient.

He also paraphrased former President John F. Kennedy, who urged Americans to &uot;ask not how you can benefit, but how you can make a difference.&uot;

&uot;Other than that, we just thanked everybody who has helped us during our school years,&uot;&160;Miller said.

Odenwald, who is serving as an assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in Ferriday this summer, will attend Louisiana College in the fall, majoring in theology.

He was recently licensed in the ministry, and his goal is to be ordained as a Southern Baptist minister.

Miller will attend Louisiana State University, where he plans to major in agricultural business.

&uot;I want to be an agricultural consultant — my father is a farmer,&uot;&160;Miller said.