BHS salutatorian Byrd plans to become doctor
Editor’s Note: Franklin’s Future is a regular feature spotlighting a high school senior in Franklin County and what they have planned for life after graduation.
Franklin County senior Kayla Byrd has spent her entire school career attending Belgreen High School and has spent a good portion of that time being involved with a host of activities.
The 17-year-old captain of the school’s cheerleading squad has been a cheerleader since the seventh grade, an editor of the annual staff, vice-president of Health Occupation Students of America, treasurer of the senior class, treasurer of the BETA Club and a member of the Beautification Club.
She was also an active participant in the Franklin County Junior Leadership Program where she learned the importance of community service.
“Junior Leadership was an activity that I really enjoyed because you were able to meet students from other schools and participate in projects that help people,” Byrd said. “I really liked helping the people from the Sara Dinsmore Center make arts and crafts for Christmas. It’s just nice to help other people and know you’re making them happy.”
With all these activities, it would seem it would be hard to find time for much else, but Byrd has managed to keep up her grades and was recently named as this year’s salutatorian.
“Going to Belgreen has been a great experience for me and I’ve really loved it here,” she said. “Being a smaller school allowed us to all have close relationships, almost like a family, and it’s just a good depiction of a Southern school.”
Byrd said she would miss seeing all her classmates she’s grown so close to over the years and the school she was familiar with.
“I’m so used to a small school that I really don’t know what to expect at college,” she said. “It will definitely be different, but I think it will be fun to meet some new people.”
Byrd said she is still trying to decide between attending the University of North Alabama or the University of Alabama once school starts this fall.
“I like that UNA is close to home and that it’s a smaller environment but still has that college feel,” she said. “But I’m also a huge Alabama fan and I know I would love it down there, too. It’s farther way, but it might be good to get out on my own a little bit more.”
Whether she attends UNA or UA, Byrd knows for certain that she’ll be working towards a career as a doctor.
“Ever since I was little I wanted to be a doctor and I just never changed my mind,” she said. “I want to be able to help people and I know I can do that as a doctor.”
Even though being a doctor is something she’s always known, taking health science classes has helped solidify the decision in her mind.
“I’ve taken HOSA classes and gotten a feel for what I would be doing,” she said. “I’m still not sure what type of doctor I wanted to be, but I have time to figure that out.”
Once she has her degree and is ready to settle down, Byrd said if she wasn’t able to come back to Franklin County, she hoped to live in some place similar.
“I like living in a country setting where you can hunt and ride your four wheelers and there’s lots of land,” she said. “We moved into Russellville two years ago and it’s totally different than living out here. I love the country and that’s just where I’d like to be.”
Before she sets out to begin this next chapter in her life, Byrd said she planned to spend a lot of time this spring and summer with her friends and her family, which includes her parents, Randall and Jennifer Byrd, and her younger brother, Shelton.
“Cherish your time growing up and your time in high school because it’ll all be over before you know it,” she said. “Everyone says your senior year is the best, but don’t forget about the other years. You need to make the most of them, too.”