Tecumseh High School senior and 18-year-old Jacey Ranae Cox earned the title of valedictorian and is one of many in the 2020 graduating class.
According to Cox, she was happy when she found out she would be the class of 2020 valedictorian.
"It is fulfilling to accomplish something that I have been working so hard to achieve for the last four years," Cox said.
While she was happy to be at the top of her class, Cox said she was disappointed with how the remainder of her senior year went, but she successfully completed her classes.
"It (was) disheartening to not be able to finish my school year with my classmates or finish my last track season with my team," Cox said. "It's understandable given our current circumstances, regarding the health and safety of everyone. I prefer being in the classroom face-to-face, but my online classes (went) really well."
For Cox, she said one of the biggest challenges during her last semester was not having the opportunity to celebrate with her fellow graduates.
"Not being able to experience the last senior moments of celebration with my friends before we all go our separate ways (is difficult)," Cox said.
The graduate said she will always remember her senior year not only because of COVID-19, but also because of the good times.
"The pandemic will be a significant part of my senior year memories, but I will also remember the fun I had with my cross country teammates, football games and pep assemblies and the fun times we had in AP Senior English," Cox said.
Cox said she's grateful to her family and teachers for making her last semester as easy and fun as they could.
"I am thankful for how much time and effort my teachers invested to make distance learning go so smoothly for me and my classmates," Cox said. "I am also thankful for the extra time I have got to spend with my family."
The graduate said she plans on attending the University of Miami in the fall to pursue a degree in Marine Biology.