MILTON — Nicole Courey, who was named Milton High School's 2018 valedictorian, will be the third Courey to graduate at the top of her class.
Nicole is the youngest of Joe and Bobbie Courey's three children. Their middle daughter, Sarah, was the valedictorian in Milton High's 2016 graduating class. The couple's oldest daughter, Colleen, was in the top 1 percent in Milton High's 2014 graduating class.
Joe Courey is a retired Marine who works at NAS Whiting Field as a contractor; Bobbie Courey is a seventh-grade math teacher at Hobbs Middle School.
Here we catch up with Nicole about her accomplishments, plans and everyday life.
What are your plans for school and a career?
I’m not exactly sure what I want to do for a career, but I was thinking of going into something along the lines of chemical engineering or computer software, because I find math very interesting.
I was thinking that during college, I would find my way. I haven’t exactly figured out where I want to go, but I have been accepted to the Univeristy of West Florida and Florida State University.
I have applied to the University of Florida, but I’m supposed to [find out] on Friday. Both of my sisters go to the University of Florida, so I’m hoping to join them.
I’ve also applied to Embry Riddle, so I’ll hear from them soon, hopefully.
How has MHS prepared you academically for your future?
They really pushed me, and they offer a lot of great classes that allow students to be pushed. I have taken many AP classes over my years, and they are definitely not easy.
Right now I’m taking AP BC Calculus, which is an accelerated version of calculus, and my teacher is really preparing us for this AP exam.
It is really challenging, and she is such an amazing teacher.
What is your favorite memory at MHS?
It was sophomore year, my friends and I put on skits for this thing called Escapades that we performed, and you go against all the other classes at Homecoming.
We did a "Mulan"-themed skit. We were all up there Saturday, early morning, preparing and going over our scripts and practicing dance scenes and singing, and we were there all day long.
It was one of those moments where everyone was bonding together and everyone was getting along, and it was just so surreal.
How has your family supported you academically?
My parents — I honestly wouldn’t be valedictorian without them.
They have pushed me when I thought that I couldn’t do it or I wanted to quit and just say, “I can’t do this, my brain just wants to shut down." They said, “Just take a minute, step back, reevaluate and try again.”
We all have those times when we need someone to help us along, and they have been there for me and I am so appreciative that I have them as my parents.
How does it feel to be the third Courey to graduate at the top of your class?
At first, before I was actually named valedictorian and I was just going through high school, I always thought that I was kind of overshadowed by my older siblings.
I have almost all the same teachers my sisters have had. Now that I’ve kind of found my own way and been my own person, I’m no longer "Sarah and Colleen’s sister;" I’m my own person.
Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
I do a lot of things. I’m in many clubs at the high school. I’m in Beta and MAO, which is a math club. I’m also vice president of [the] Science Honor Society; I’m in Senior Board, I was also captain of the Lady Panthers dance team last year.
Along with that, after school, I also dance at the Dance Academy of Santa Rosa … and I am there five days a week, multiple hours. I’m on the senior Aspire Dance Company, which we also compete in other places, too.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I get to relax on the weekends; I’m always kind of working on school work.
Normally on Friday, when I get home from dance, I’ll come home and relax and not do anything.
Saturday, I’ll maybe do some school work if something is due on that Monday, and I’ll budget my time so I don’t have to cram Sunday night.
I do have time to spend with my family and my friends.