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Wendling balanced education, athletics to achieve salutatorian status

Emmy Wendling was named salutatorian at Southwestern High School with a 4.5 grade point average.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

Emmy Wendling is not particularly a fan of public speaking.

So when the time came for her to prepare her salutatorian speech for Southwestern High School’s commencement ceremony, Wendling decided to try something a bit unconventional.

Inspired by slam poetry videos she saw in English class, she approached valedictorian and friend, Mattie Schornick, with the idea of giving a combined speech.

With the approval of the administration, the two delivered the speech at commencement on May 25.

“Being up there with one of my friends made it a lot more comforting,” Wendling said.

Wendling always worked to get straight A’s in school.

That, she said, was more of the goal starting out in high school, not so much finishing at the top of her class.

“I never wanted to have a ‘B’ and I accomplished that, so I guess that was more of my goal than being first or second,” she said. “So I guess it was just kind of a bonus being second (in the class).”

While she didn’t consider her friendship with Schornick a rivalry in terms of who would come out on top, she did admit her grade point average was “neck and neck” with Logan Drake, who was third in the class.

Wendling managed to balance a busy schedule after school with her studies.

She was a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, student council, 4-H and was a member of the basketball and softball teams as well as the cheerleading squad, all while finishing high school with a 4.5 GPA.

Wendling also was selected as the 2018 recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, which will pay her full tuition when she leaves for Indianapolis in the fall, where she will attend Butler University to study pharmacy.

With that degree, she hopes to work in a children’s hospital as a pharmacist. She said she also has job shadowed in the oncology department at MHP Medical Center and enjoyed that experience.

She also job shadowed in the emergency room and realized she “didn’t want to touch blood.”

Her mother, Tonya, took her to see a career counselor whom her mother had used when she was in high school. Tonya told her daughter she didn’t want to leave high school without some sort of career path.

So Emmy took a career test and it found that pharmacy was a good fit. The younger Wendling’s reaction was originally not receptive to the idea.

“I was like, ‘No, I’m not counting pills the rest of my life,’ because when you see them at CVS, they’re counting pills,” she said with a laugh.

But after further research, she discovered it could be a good field for her.

Best of the Best

The Shelbyville News is currently featuring the valedictorians and salutatorians of all five Shelby County high school.

Today, meet Southwestern salutatorian Emmy Wendling. Southwestern valedictorian Mattie Schornick will be featured in Thursday’s edition.

The top two students at Shelbyville and Morristown have already been highlighted. You can find their stories online at shelbynews.com.