LAKELAND -- Paige Stone was recently named valedictorian of Lanier County High School's Class of 2005. It was something the 18-year-old had been working toward since her middle school days.

"Being valedictorian is something I have always wanted," she said.

Stone never lost sight of the ultimate goal, always ensuring she was one step ahead of her classmates academically. She made every effort to attend classes regularly, pay attention, complete assignments and study.

At Lanier County High School, Stone served as yearbook editor, senior class president, school photographer, and member of the Beta Club and Family Community Career Leaders of America.

The daughter of Jamie and Wanda Stone plans to attend Valdosta State University and pursue a career in Early Childhood Education.

Michael Moon, 18, was named salutatorian of Lanier County High School's Class of 2005. Describing himself as competitive, he said being the best was something he continuously worked for academically.

"If it was not for the Lord, I would not be where I am today," said the son of Anita Gray.

Moon said attending classes regularly and paying attention lead to his academic success. He said learning of his No. 2 status was both a complete surprise and a gratifying experience.

At Lanier County High School, Moon was a member of Future Farmers of America and the football, weightlifting, and forestry teams. He plans to attend Valdosta State University and study mathematics.

Lanier County High School's 2005 commencement ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 28, on Roquemore Field.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call (229) 244-3400, ext. 255.

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