Tuesday, June 10, 2014
High schools across the Lowcountry handed out diplomas to thousands of deserving students who are facing bright futures. Some chose college, some chose the military and some chose the workforce. All earned their diplomas or certificates as a result of hard work and determination. The Moultrie News is proud to feature each valedictorian and salutatorian from East Cooper schools.
Kimberly Elizabeth “Beth” Dutour was named valedictorian for Bishop England High School Class of 2014.
She is the daughter of William and Lili Dutour. Beth received the first Honor Graduate Award and will attend the University of Alabama in Huntsville for aerospace engineering. Beth was a member of the SGA, Retreat Team, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Drama Club, Bella’s and Library Book Club. She is a member of St. Theresa the Little Flower Catholic Church and has served as an altar server, lector, member of the choir and a cantor. Beth received scholarships from Clemson, University of Alabama in Huntsville and Charleston Southern University.
Dutour has lived in South Carolina her entire life and is from Summerville. Before Bishop England, she attended Summerville Catholic Elementary and Middle School.
Her decision to study aerospace engineering came from her adoration of her physics class teacher. “He was amazing,” she said, “and it was a very fun class. I like math and science blended together to perfection and physics has always interested me. I felt like space was the best mix of the two,” she explained.
Dutour has always loved reading and has been heavily involved in drama. She performed in seven of the eight productions in high school had the lead role in the fall in “Rehearsal for Murder.”
Dutour said her mother is her mentor for many reasons.
Whether it be her commitment to transport her to and from school or her encouragement late at night while she studied.
“She was always there, always encouraging me. She was kind of a role model because she too was valedictorian of her high school senior class and that motivated me. I’ve always kind of been on top, and when you’re in class with me, you know I’m one of the smart ones.”
But more importantly, Dutour really wanted this for herself.
“Academics do not come easily to anyone. And the more I applied myself, the more I sacrificed free time and hanging out with friends. I worked hard, stayed up late, got up early and just spent a lot of time studying and doing homework. It definitely came at a cost.”
Dutour, a lover of profound quotes is partial to those embracing happiness.
“Try to be happy,” she said. “Find things that make you happy and follow those.”
One particular quote she likes, by Leo Tolstoy, is “If you want to be happy, be.”
“We have choice to or not. I choose to be happy,” she said. “Everyone around me has given me a smile when I am having a bad day. And those little smiles or words of encouragement have helped me more than anyone can know.”
Regan Van Metre was named salutatorian at Bishop England for the class of 2014.
She is the daughter of Christopher and Rosemary Van Metre. Van Metre received the second Honor Graduate Award and will attend Clemson University’s Calhoun Honors program and will major in bioengineering. She was involved with Bishop England’s varsity soccer, varsity swim team as well as National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Band of Buddies, B.E. Ambassadors and served as a student tutor. Van Metre is a member of St. Benedict Catholic Church. She received scholarships from Clemson University: Palmetto Pact, Presidential, STEM Scholarship as well as the Dolphin Scholarship.
She has lived in Mount Pleasant since she was nine years old, settling there in the fourth grade.
Before her dad retired from the Navy, they moved around a lot.
Van Metre is the youngest of three. She has an older brother and an older sister, both of whom she considers her mentors.
“My brother is one of the best people I have ever known. He sets standards very high for me as far as being a person and a leader,” she said. “He has been a great example to me.”
He is currently in California serving in the Navy.
“My sister is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” she said.
She is commissioned in the Navy as well and will attend the Medical University of South Carolina in the fall.
“My brother is more of the athlete and my sister, for example, was valedictorian of her high school class – both of which set the bar high for me,” said Van Metre.
This kind of academic success wasn’t a goal for Van Metre per se, but her parents have always been her primary motivation in doing the best that she could do, she explained.
“I’ve been really blessed to be able to understand and connect well with material. I was gifted, but I worked hard. I have been blessed, but it didn’t come without hard work,” she said.
The Bishop England Catholic education had a great impact on Van Metre and her life philosophy.
One of those guiding influences for her was to “act as if it makes a difference and it does,” she said.
Read next week’s Moultrie News for a look at the Wando High School Class of 2014 top academic honorees.