A Letter From Your 2021 Valedictorian

Dear students,

Hi! My name is Ainsley Boyd, and I have gone to school in Decatur since kindergarten. I have lived here my whole life and love this town and school district with my whole heart. Over the years, I have learned so much and have had some of the best teachers I could ever ask for. From learning how a cell divides to memorizing countless formulas to learning how to write a letter, Decatur has taught me pretty much everything I know. 

Thinking back to freshman year, my classmates and I have grown so much. We have gone from terrified underclassmen to the seniors that we once looked up to and wanted to be. To the underclassmen we are leaving behind, always remember to have fun with these four years. I know this is such a cliché, but those years truly do fly by, and before you know it, you will be walking across that stage just like us. Make the most of this time you have together and be grateful for every moment. Everyone has already lost a year due to the pandemic, so it is more important than ever that you make as many memories as you can before everyone goes their separate ways.

As I move on from Decatur, the only place I have ever known, I have a lot of mixed emotions. I am so excited to see what the future holds, yet I find myself looking back at all the great times I had here. Leaving my friends and family behind will be extremely difficult, and is something that I have never experienced before. These years truly were some of the best of my life, and I will cherish the memories I made forever. Leaving Decatur will probably be the hardest thing I will ever have to do, but at the same time I am so excited to move onto the next chapter of my life.

Next year, I will be attending the University of Texas at Austin to study biology. I have been a Longhorn since birth and have awaited the day I would get my acceptance letter since I was just a little kid. All the hard work I poured into high school felt like it finally paid off when the letter came in, and I can’t wait for the day all of you get to experience that feeling as well. Going away to college is a pretty scary thought sometimes, but as the time quickly approaches I find myself more and more excited to start this next adventure.

Wherever your lives take you after high school, be sure not to rush the ending like many students find themselves doing. There were a lot of times that I just wanted to be done with high school, but now I sit here reflecting and wish that I had enjoyed the moment more and been grateful for these experiences. Try not to make that same mistake.

Thank you Decatur for everything you have given me these twelve years. You have taught me so many life lessons and have given me so many valuable memories. I will always be grateful for the time I spent here and cannot believe that the time has come for me to say goodbye.



Ainsley Boyd