It’s often been said there’s a reason why in the name “Student-Athlete”, the student part comes before athletics.

It’s often been said there’s a reason why in the name “Student-Athlete”, the student part comes before athletics.

Recently, Plainview class of 2017 graduate Paxton Little showed why those words have always rang true.

Little was honored as a recipient of the Academic All-State award at the 31st annual Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic Awards Banquet, which was held in Tulsa. 

But not just any athlete can earn the honor of being an Academic All-Stater like Little, she had to earn this with a lot of hard work outside the track and cross country fields.

“This award was based simply on my academic excellence, not my athletic accomplishments,” Little said. “The first requirement is making a 30 on the ACT. Once you’ve done that, you can apply and then you must complete an essay, which is reviewed by the selection committee.” 

Little’s resume spoke for itself along with her academic history, as she was one of 100 seniors selected from 551 nominations from 77 schools in 68 school districts throughout Oklahoma.

Paxton was the Class of 2017 Valedictorian for Plainview High School, and is also the current K2 Kickapoo Princess. She’s also a member of the Shannon Crites School of Dance competitive team, along with being the National Honor Society President, along with Student Council President. Paxton is also the Beta Club Vice President, along with being a member of the Oklahoma President’s Leadership Class. 

Making the honor even more special was the fact she got to have this in common with her brother Cooper. 

“It’s very special for me getting to follow in my brothers footsteps with this honor,” Paxton said. “We both selected Mrs. Martha Collings as our guest teacher.” 

“Mrs. Collings has played such an influential role in both of our lives and I will be forever grateful to her for her dedication and concern for my academic excellence.”

As for the banquet itself, Paxton added it was special getting to speak and interact with her fellow All-State members and is excited for the next step in her life academically.

“The banquet itself was enjoyable and very special for me,” she said. “I got to spend all day meeting other Academic All-Staters like myself, and then getting to walk the stage later that night to receive our medals was very fun.”

“I’m extremely excited to be attending the University of Oklahoma in the fall, and I am even more excited to be there with my brother. I’m currently planning to attend OU Nursing School and then transfer to CRNA school. I would love to be a Nurse Anesthetist, and get to help others while balancing a home life as well. My advice to my fellow students would be to work hard and stay focused, but also take the time to enjoy life and what it has to offer you.”