During 2020 graduation ceremonies, Connor Cunningham’s older brother Cameron took a few steps up and stood at the podium to be recognized by his class as Hahnville High’s Salutatorian for the Class of 2020. It was a notable achievement he’d worked hard for, and his younger brother Connor observed intently from the crowd.
Three years later, taking the same path of his older brother, Connor Cunningham will take the same few steps up to the podium and address his own Hahnville High Class of 2023 – only this time around, the younger Cunningham brother will do so as his class’s Valedictorian.
The younger Cunningham brother Connor polished off his Hahnville High School career with an impressive Grade Point Average (GPA) of approximately 4.36. He did it all through a challenging four years of school, from the class days at home during COVID-19, and then the days of sharing a high school campus with another school following Hurricane Ida.
“It was a really rough four years,” Cunningham, now 18, said of his high school career. “But at the end of it, I was able to make the most out of my senior year; I think a lot of people were able to make this last senior year really memorable.”
To help him along on his college journey in the fall, Cunningham was able to bag college course credit while at Hahnville High for Advanced Placement English, History, and Geography classes.
Cunningham was a four-year band member but found time to still join the Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (Junior ROTC). He was a member of the National Honor Society, Art Honor Society, and for three years a Hahnville High Robotics Team member.
As a snare drum player, Cunningham said he found a home with Hahnville High’s band.
“Being part of the band – it was like a family,” Cunningham said of his days in band. “Everyone always helped each other. Just being a part of that, making so many friends and connections and being able to play music with those people was incredible.”
After all of his hard work and achievements, the summer of 2023 will be a summer of fun for Connor, who plans to relax and spend time with friends before leaving for college in the fall.
“I plan on going on a few vacations with my family, hanging out with friends,” Cunningham said. “Just really making the most of my time before I go to college.”
College for Cunningham will be almost 300 miles away at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where he will major in pre-radiologic technology, which he says involves the study of CT scan equipment, X-rays and related medical imaging technology.
Cunningham says his secret weapon, the tool he relied on most to help him soar and be named his class’s Valedictorian was something as simple as the encouragement his parents and teachers gave him along the way.
“I think the way my parents had always encouraged me to do my best at school, throughout my entire life, had always driven me to strive for excellence,” Cunningham said. “I feel like that really gave me a good work ethic and helped me push through a lot of times where I might have been discouraged or might not have been feeling up to the task.”
Cunningham had his own words of encouragement for the Fall 2023 Hahnville High freshmen class set to arrive at high school later this year.
“I would tell them to put themselves out there, because you only get one high school experience,” he said. “So make the most of it.”
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