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Plainville celebrates six valedictorians





LeBron James predicted at least six championships when he signed with the NBA's Miami Heat. He's still waiting for one.

Perhaps "the Chosen One" could take lessons on achieving excellence from Plainville High School's six valedictorians -- also all 4.0 grade-point-average students.

"I know we've had multiple" valedictorians in the past, said USD 270 Superintendent Beth Reust. But, she said, all of them being straight-A students was something else.

"I don't think I've ever had six before in my entire life," she said. "I've been in education 40 years."

In a class of 25 students, the six valedictorians who graduated Saturday were: Kyle Becker, Andrew Casey, Dustin Chew, Arianne Fisher, Peony Reif and Caitlin Wessel.

Reust said the entire class -- except for a foreign exchange student -- took the difficult Kansas Scholars Curriculum.

"That's a pretty rigorous type of program, with the chemistry and physics, and four units of math and four units of English," Reust said. "It wasn't as if they took easy courses; they took more difficult courses all the way through."

All but Wessel also attended Sacred Heart Grade School in Plainville, as did the salutatorian, Bryan Brungardt.

"They were an excellent class, all the way through," said Carol Parker, who just finished her 23rd year as principal at Sacred Heart. "They were just academically and athletically and artistically all very talented.

"They really have excelled through the years; very proud of all of them. We provided that early elementary foundation, and it was just built upon as they got into the older grades."

While Parker said the classmates were competitive in a good way, Reust said the students also were goal-oriented.

"They will be successful in post-secondary education as well because of that," Reust said. "They all have goals they are working toward; that probably gives them a leg up on being successful."