Hannah Smith- Class of 2023 Valedictorian


Allie Tribe, Editor

Hello all,

My name is Hannah Smith, and I am the valedictorian of the Class of 2023. I’ve been a part of the DISD since I was in kindergarten. I attended Rann Elementary where I made friends with people who I’m still friends with today, and then went to McCarroll Middle School where I learned the importance of my academics. The last four years, I’ve spent expanding my knowledge, relationships, work ethic, and character at DHS with the help of my friends, family, and faculty. 

In these past years at Decatur, I have learned the importance of finding what you enjoy and setting goals in them to better yourself. Early on in high school, I realized my talents lay in swimming, choir, and academics, so I stuck with them and made memories that will last a lifetime. Swimming has allowed me to make friendships with people I never would have met otherwise and found role models in certain people that have helped me succeed in and out of the pool. I also had the opportunity to be a captain of the swim team for two years and from that I learned the importance of leadership, respect, and accountability. In choir, I have been able to express the little artistic talent I have through singing in concerts, contests, and at various activities around the town. At first, I had only joined because my parents made me, but the sense of pride I get from singing with my peers and the amazing directors made it something I became extremely grateful for. Lastly and most importantly, I realized early on how important my academics were to me, and I took as many classes as I could that would be beneficial to my academic future. Though it wasn’t always easy, the hours of studying and the numerous AP classes I took paid off in the end. 

As the eighth graders now become freshmen and have to face the daunting task of high school. Just remember to enjoy your time and do something that will improve your future. Find something you love doing and make memories you’ll look back at fondly in 20 years.

For me, I’ll remember these lessons I’ve learned at DHS and use them as I go to the University of Oklahoma in the fall to study biochemistry with the end goal of becoming a forensic pathologist. 

Thank you Decatur and with love, 

Hannah Smith