Bright Future: ACCS valedictorian all about smiles, sports
NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School’s Class of 2019 Valedictorian, Leighton “Shelby” Mason said she is as passionate about helping children smile their brightest smile as she is about playing sports, which she has done a lot of throughout her high school career.
Mason, the daughter of Leigh Anne and Matt Mason, accepted a two-year softball scholarship and an academic scholarship to Southwest Community College where she plans to study pre-dentistry before enrolling in dental school at a four-year university.
Mason said she hopes to become a pediatric dentist and help kids put on their best smiles, she said.
“Sports are my passion, and it’s important to me to have a good education,” Mason said. “I also love working with kids. … While I was growing up, I didn’t have the most perfect teeth and later wore braces. I just think smiles are important and can brighten anyone’s day.”
Mason said she volunteered a lot of her time to work with children while studying at ACCS, offering pitching lessons, conducting cheer camps, working as a lifeguard at the swimming pool and other activities.
Throughout her childhood, Mason said she always looked up to her older sister, Ashton Mason, and her closest older friend, Maggie Ray.
“My sister was always involved in everything in school and is also very smart … and Maggie has always been older than me but has always been one of my closest friends. I wanted to be like her, because she is just always a likable person, has strong Christian morals and values and always has a smile on her face.”
Mason was a member of the softball, basketball and tennis teams at ACCS, and was the cheerleading team’s co-captain.
Mason was also a member of the student council, Fellowship of Christian Students, National Beta Club and National Honor Society as well as served as the Student Body President and President of the Mayor’s Youth Council.
In addition to receiving softball and academic scholarships to Southwest, Mason received several local scholarships, including the Merit Health Student Athlete of the Year, Natchez Rotary, Mike Ray, Kramer Fife, United Mississippi Bank and Krewe of Killarney scholarships.
“I feel like my school helped me achieve the goals that I wanted to achieve,” Mason said. “I have been blessed with great teachers, coaches and administrators who helped prepare me for my future. … Although I am nervous about the future, I’m also confident.”