GHS valedictorian, salutatorian both plan to become doctors

Gainesville High School’s 2019 graduation exercises were held Friday, May 10. Jaima DeVries, above, is the class valedictorian, and Madison Trivitt, below, is salutatorian. (Photos reprinted from last week’s Times to correct the accidental reversal of their class ranks.)

Gainesville High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian head off to college with more than 20 hours of college credit already earned and a common dream for the future: Both girls hope to become physicians.

Valedictorian Jaima DeVries has attended school in Gainesville for 15 years – starting with two years of preschool. The youngest member of her class, she has been at the top of the class academically through all four years of high school. Jaima graduated with 27 hours of college credit from Missouri State University earned in classroom courses offered at GHS as well as some online courses, including college-level calculus, a five-credit-hour course.  

Inspired by the experiences of her stepsister, who has undergone several heart surgeries due to a congenital heart defect, Jaima hopes to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. Of course, first she has to complete her undergraduate studies. She was accepted at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, Maryland, and offered a full-ride scholarship. She was also accepted at Columbia University but chose Johns Hopkins, where she’ll have a double major, applied mathematics and chemistry, in the university’s pre-med program.

Before heading to Baltimore in August, she plans to work as a lifeguard at Cloud 9 Ranch – a change from her senior-year job at Sonic Drive-in in West Plains, where she worked 20 to 30 hours a week during the school year.   

Jaima’s family includes her mother and stepdad, Amanda and Mark Watkins; older sister Alexis, now working in West Plains; a brother, Justus, a rising freshman at GHS; a sister, Hadley, 2; and grandparents Robert and Arlene Merriman. 

Salutatorian Madison Trivitt is also heading to college with more than 20 hours of college credit from MSU earned in GHS classroom courses. She’ll be heading to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville to have a biology major in the pre-med program. Madison hopes to become a pediatrician.

Like Jaima, Madison has had a very active high school career. This year she served as president of the high school’s FFA chapter, and she was also FFA Area 13 vice president. In April, she was awarded the State FFA Degree, the highest degree members can receive at the state level. 

She’s also played on the GHS softball team and been active in FBLA and the National Honor Society. 

While completing her high school studies, Madison was employed as a homeworker for Wapsi Fly fly-fishing company in Mountain Home, Arkansas. 

She was awarded scholarships sponsored by Ozark County Farm Bureau, Shelter Insurance, Century Bank of the Ozarks and Gainesville Alumni, as well as the Bulldog Scholarship and memorial scholarships in honor of Matt Abraham, Matthew J. England and Grant Finley, and also a scholarship from the University of Arkansas. 

Her family includes her dad, Bill Trivitt, an officer with Century Bank of the Ozarks, who gave the commencement address; her mother, Sara Trivitt, who teaches kindergarten in Mountain Home; and an older brother, Tanner, a 2014 GHS graduate now enrolled at Missouri S&T in Rolla. 

Ozark County Times

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