Focus paves way for success

Math and science were always his best and favorite subjects in school, but language arts didn’t come to him as easily.

Dylan Clarkson called language arts his weakest subject. The laws and rules of math and science aren’t up for interpretation the way meaning is in literature, he said.

“It makes me work the hardest,” he said.

“Anything can be right or wrong for any reason.”

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Still, Clarkson can say he did well in school — earning the spot of salutatorian for the Edinburgh Community High School class of 2017. He’ll attend Franklin College this fall on a scholarship, where he plans to study chemistry.

Clarkson’s parents have pushed him from a young age to do well.

“My parents were very much on my case about always getting good grades,” he said.

His mom, Rebecca, is a nurse, and he may be following her footsteps into the medical field. He’s interested in ultimately going to Purdue University for a degree in pharmacy.

“It was given as a suggestion and I looked into it,” he said. “It looks interesting.”

When he wasn’t studying, Clarkson participated on the school’s academic team, and was on the English, math and interdisciplinary teams.

He also was in Spanish club as an officer and participated in Lancers Lend a Hand, a service organization. There, he volunteered at a local food pantry and in a nonprofit thrift shop. He was also a member of the National Honor Society.

“I definitely had to sacrifice a lot of hours,” he said. “But I have no regrets. It got me here.”

To future Edinburgh graduates, he said: “Always do your best. If something isn’t working for you, find a way to make it work.”

If you want to achieve top academic honors, try to avoid distractions, he said.

“Find a quiet place to sit and study and don’t quit until you’re done,” he said.

Edinburgh Community High School Salutatorian

Name: Dylan Clarkson

Age: 17

School: Edinburgh Community High School

Parents: Rebecca Rice and Shane Clarkson

College: Franklin College, majoring in chemistry; considering a career in pharmacy

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Anna Herkamp is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2712.