Batavia's Emery Carlson named St. Francis High School valedictorian

  • St. Francis High School valedictorian Emery Carlson of Batavia poses for a photo after the Wheaton school's graduation.

    St. Francis High School valedictorian Emery Carlson of Batavia poses for a photo after the Wheaton school's graduation. Courtesy of Jamie Lavigueur/St. Francis High School

Updated 6/17/2022 4:14 PM

When she was in eighth grade, Emery Carlson of Batavia made a list of the things she wanted to accomplish before graduating high school.

At the top? Earn the title of valedictorian. And she did it.


At the Class of 2022 Liturgy Commencement, Emery's speech didn't mention the handwritten list she still has in her bedroom. She didn't tout her accomplishments or the wisdom she acquired on her road to success.

She shared the wisdom of those who got her there: her teachers and family members.

"The teachers make St. Francis High School what it is," she said. "They are so open to forming a relationship with you and give you any help and resources you need. They want you to succeed. I used their words for my speech because that's how much they mean to me and impacted my life."

That relational aspect was what sold Emery on attending St. Francis High School when she shadowed students during her seventh and eighth grade years.

During her high school career, she returned the favor as a host for shadows as part of the SFHS Student Ambassador Leadership Team (SALT).

"I really liked SALT and it was my favorite activity," Emery said, who also participated in the student ministry team, National Honor Society, choir, Women's Empowerment, scholastic bowl, swim team, and lacrosse. "When I shadowed, I looked up to SALT kids and idolized them. To be one of them and to be able to share St. Francis with kids like me was so cool."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Emery, who will attend Georgetown University in the fall as a math major on a premedical track, is pursuing a career in women's health.

"I've wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember, and I think women's medicine needs improvement. It needs more research and more good people who are invested in improving it," she said.

As she prepares for college, she was no list of goals and no dreams of being a two-time valedictorian. She said she just wants to find something she loves and wants to pursue in life. And find an a cappella group if she can.

"I want to find my passion and take classes that make me want to keep learning," Emery said. "I never want to lose my love for learning and education.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.