• Last modified 439 days ago (May 11, 2023)


Peabody valedictorian learns life skills, not just facts

Staff writer

Alexis Davis has learned an important skill during her time at Peabody-Burns High School, one that’s not in the official curriculum.

That’s the art of time management.

The school’s valedictorian, Alexis has been involved in a little bit of everything during her time at the school.

She and her family moved to Peabody when she was in the first grade.

These are the activities she easily listed: music, band, and choir since elementary school; drum major for the marching band for the past two years; current student council president; National Honor Society member since her sophomore year; volleyball all four years, including this past year, when she broke a school record for serving; and cheerleader for three years, including two years as captain.

She also works as a certified nursing assistant at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro and as a lifeguard. And she volunteers to help people with work at their homes when they can’t do it themselves.

So, she’s pretty busy, right?

“Oh, my gosh, yes,” she answers.

All students have ups and downs and challenges they either overcome or don’t.

“The pandemic was difficult, but I would say the most difficult part was time management,” she said.

Alexis – who goes by “Lexi” — will graduate with 15 other students, classmates who are her friends if not family.

“The friendships I’ve made along the way,” Lexi answers when asked what she’ll remember most about her time at Peabody-Burns.

With a group that size, there aren’t cliques, she said. That’s one of the many things she liked about attending a school such as Peabody-Burns and living in a community the size of Peabody.

“You can ask anybody for help, and they’re going to be there for you.,” she said. “Community is really important.”

She plans to be a dental hygienist and will enroll at Butler Community College to get her prerequisites out of the way and then attend Salina Area Technical College.

Why dental hygiene?

“Somebody told me about it, and I got interested and I decided that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

She’s not melancholy about high school ending.

“I’m excited,” Lexi said. “I think life has to go on. It was fun while it lasted, but I’m ready for the next step.”

Her music teacher, Laura Leiknater, thinks Lexi will accomplish whatever she wants to.

“Where to start? Lexi is one of the best students I have had the opportunity to work with,” Leiknater said. “Not only is she wicked smart, driven, and strives for perfection, but she has a great sense of humor, is multi-talented, and just fun to be around.

“Lexi keeps her grades up while also being involved in several things at school including band, cheer, Voices, NHS, student council, etc. You name it, and she does it.”

Lexi works hard to stay on top of her academics while juggling multiple activities, Leiknater said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that she will accomplish everything she sets out to, and I am going to truly miss seeing her every day,” she said.

Lexi met Gov. Laura Kelly this week. The governor invited the top 1% of students at every Kansas school to come to Topeka. That will be a good memory, Lexi said.

Lexi’s brother will graduate alongside her.

They’re not twins.

Kael Hutchison is technically her stepbrother, but she simply calls him her brother.

“We do get asked whether we’re twins quite often,” she said.

When she looks back on high school, she’ll remember that learning how to advocate for herself is something she learned at Peabody-Burns.

Her favorite subjects have been social studies and history, and the reason why is telling.

She didn’t simply learn facts.

Social students and history help people “know what not to do and what to keep doing,” she said.

Last modified May 11, 2023