Motivation to succeed at the highest level in the classroom comes from within for two high-achieving Indian Land High School classmates who are set to graduate Friday.
The promise of a new Chevrolet Corvette, however, raised the pressure even higher for valedictorian Daniel Neal Crofford.
His father Mark Crofford made him a promise in fifth grade that if Daniel earned a full ride to college, Mark would buy his son a new Corvette as a graduation present. As Daniel continued to make exceptional grades, the offer suddenly turned economical.
“The funny part is the sooner I got closer to actually graduating, he says ‘You know I meant a used Corvette right?’” Crofford said Wednesday morning. “Now I have a Toyota Corolla out in the parking lot, but I love it.”
Crofford, who has accepted a full scholarship to study chemical engineering at Clemson University’s Honors College, says he feels “blessed” that his strengths in mathematics have given him an opportunity to pursue his passion. He was able to take both Advanced Placement courses in statistics and calculus, which should give him the inside track into higher-level college courses as soon as he steps on campus this August.
“I’ve always loved it and that’s what I have wanted to do,” Crofford said.
Crofford says he’s excited to keep up his faith across the state and wants to join the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Along with heading the Beta Club, Crofford counts himself as a loyal churchgoer with the Pineville, N.C., Church of the Nazarene and enjoys going to its youth group whenever he can.
When he thinks of the new generation of Warriors walking into Indian Land High School as freshman, Crofford’s advice is simple.
“Work hard and you’ll be able to do whatever you want,” he said. “Just work hard and keep at it and you’re going to do anything.”
Salutatorian going to Charleston
Emily Kreibich is a hard worker and a great student. She would “feel really horrible” if she wasn’t pushing to do her best in the classroom. This senior year, however, Indian Land’s salutatorian has enjoyed the slow lane after a demanding four years of high school.
“I’ve really not cared that much anymore (about the race for valedictorian),” said Kreibich, who will attend the College of Charleston in the fall to study psychology. “It’s been a mix, periods of relaxing and doing nothing and periods where I realized I should get to work.”
Kreibich has more than proven herself. She’s taken almost all the AP classes the school offers and boasts leadership roles from Model UN and the Academic Challenge team on her resume. The choice to study in Charleston was natural after she weighed scholarship options, other schools’ offers and the added incentive of close family.
“My aunt is studying art down there, so that will make it better,” she said. Charleston’s “going to become a home. I don’t see myself coming back to Indian Land after college. The college is really pretty there and it’s hard to beat that location.”
Kreibich attributes her passion for writing to a strong internal motivation and the help of her English AP Language teacher, David Dudley, who she came to for help on her essays.
The senior smiles when she says she’ll likely be getting lost in her first few days on campus this August, but is excited by the prospect of her new major.
“I’ve always liked the area of psychology,” she said. “There’s nothing stranger than people. I figured if I could survive AP Psychology and still like it, I should go for it.”
Although she’s heard rumors that her new school has a reputation for the party crowd, she vows that she won’t be a part of that culture and hopes the younger classes of students who come to Indian Land stay focused.
“Make sure to get lots of rest,” she warned, laughing. “It’ll definitely help. My dad kept waking up in the middle of the night and get upset because my light was still on and I’d still be working. Don’t stress out too much.”