By David Knox
Case Corder and Haley Roberts represent the best that Moore County Schools has to offer. They are the Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively, of the Moore County High School Class of 2020, but more than that, they are outstanding young people.
Case Corder is a tough kid, a football player, a lineman. Even so, he had to hold his emotions in check as he talked about the things he’d miss as a graduating senior from Moore County High School.
“It’s kind of hard to explain,” he said. “Some of the faculty I’ll miss – Coach (Doug) Price … I’ll miss all my coaches … and Ms. (Liza) Buchanan.”
A lot of people will miss Case, too. The Class of 2020 Valedictorian has made his mark at Moore County High School, not only with a 4.0 GPA but as a leader on the field and in the classroom. He holds a full-tuition Merit Scholarship offer from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and scholarships from the Blue Helmet Club and the Moore County Youth Football League scholarship so far.
He’s a member of the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, the Honor Society Foundation, and the National Society for High School Scholars. He’s also done a ton of community service and works at Woodard’s.
Case gives credit to his teachers and his parents, Eric Corder and Sara Bates, for pushing him toward his goals. “I was the kid who always did what his parents said, always listened, so it was a bit of maturity, but the big thing was football and my parents pushing me.”
He also is a disciplined young man. He had to be to play as time-consuming a sport as football and maintain his GPA.
“When I had really a lot of homework, it was pretty much practice ends, go straight home, immediately start studying. I would still end up going to bed pretty late. It was just a lot of late nights and rough mornings, especially when we started having morning practices.”
His favorite subjects are the sciences. His favorite class? “I’d have to say one of the science classes … I was more into it because I liked the teacher and I liked the people in the class. I’d say science in general because even though I like math it gets redundant when you sit and work equation after equation. Science gives it natural application.”
He plans to attend UAH and major in electrical engineering. “I’m hoping to apply for some internships while I’m there. But I don’t want to plan too far ahead because you know plans change.”
Again, career-wise, he hasn’t completely decided, leaving his options open.
“I know electrical engineering, because I’m just oriented toward science and math, but I can’t really decide if I want to go into the workforce and just work, or do some type of research. That’s part of the reason I’m not planning too far ahead. It’s a different beast when you go into college, I want to get a feel for how I feel about things before I make a decision.”
It wasn’t a goal, originally, to be class valedictorian, either. He likes to take things one step at a time.
“It was originally my dad’s goal,” Case said. “I wasn’t thinking that far ahead. It was just, I want the A for this class.’ Eventually, it just got me to valedictorian,” he laughed.
To say Haley Roberts keeps herself busy would be an understatement. Not only did she post a 4.0 GPA and rank as the Moore County High School Class of 2020 Salutatorian, she took college courses as well at Motlow State Community College.
“I’m going to finish up in December there with my associates in English,” she said. “Then I hope to go to MTSU to major in writing. I want to be an English professor at a university somewhere and then I’d like to write novels on the side.”
Using her creativity is what got her interested in writing. “I started off writing ‘fan fiction’ about some of my favorite shows and books and stuff like that and just playing around with characters that were already established.
“I just really liked the flow of getting to create something.”
Besides posting high grades, she was a four-year member of the girls golf team. She worked on the yearbook staff for three years and was on student council for three years. A member of the NHS, she also works at IBIS.
She attributes her classroom success to her home environment and liking the subjects she was taking. This spring, with school not meeting, she found the house quiet while her parents were at work and she was able to knock out assignments quickly.
She credits her parents and teachers for pushing her along the way.
“My parents (Chris and Tammy Roberts) have always been very educationally minded – ‘you have to have an education.’ My mom’s favorite quote is ‘failure is not an option.’ Because there’s always a way to get stuff done. I feel like I drove myself a lot to do it, too, because I wanted the end result of what I have coming, too.”
Coming to her is the Motlow Presidential Scholarship and a Brown Forman scholarship as well as the Tennessee Promise Scholarship, so far.
Her advice to rising seniors? “I’d say to push yourself, never stop pushing yourself. Take that extra class or do something that you’re not really comfortable with just to see what it will be like.”