Talent on multiple fronts

Michael Smith
Kailee Lathum

Great students are those who are extremely well rounded and the April Student Leaders of the Year are among some of the best. Whether excelling in academics or athletics, Springer’s Kailee Lathum and Turner’s Ondrea Reynolds are two students who have proven themselves in both arenas.

For Lathum, some of her fondest memories from Springer High School were connected to her athletics. “My favorite memories are definitely the ones that happened in the locker room or on the basketball court,” she said. “I’m already missing it. I was so sad when the season had to end.”

Lathum served as a team captain and received multiple awards for her athletic skills, including an all-conference spot her sophomore year and a spot on the All-Ardmoreite girls basketball team her junior year. She also earned a spot on an All-State team and has been named an A+ Athlete.

Even though she proved herself as a force to be reckoned with on the court, Lathum is still considering whether to continue athletics in college. She said she will be attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University to continue her pursuit towards a master’s degree in psychology. She hopes to one day open up her own practice to teach people how to handle difficult situations in healthy ways.

Lathum exercised other talents as a member of music, art and speech and debate clubs during her time at Springer schools. As the valedictorian of her senior class with a 3.97 GPA, Lathum recognizes and appreciates the benefits of attending such a small school. “I like that I know everybody at the school on a personal level,” she said.

Student government was also an important part of her high school career. Lathum said participation in the group led her to several community service projects that included time with Sunshine Industries and the Ardmore Animal Shelter.

Even though she was a student council officer for only one year, Lathum took the chance to serve as a page for the Oklahoma Senate. She knew it would be something she had to try once after hearing about the experience from older students.

“Being on the floor was just so cool to me, seeing how all that stuff got put into play,” she said.

Reynolds has also managed to prove herself athletically and academically. The Turner High School softball star was a runner-up for the 2016 Class B Fast-Pitch Softball Team and quarter-finalist for the 2017 team.

Along with participation on the school’s fast-pitch and slow-pitch softball teams, Reynolds was also a member of the school’s basketball team and cheer squad. With a 4.0 GPA, she served on the BETA Club and earned a spot on the National Honor Society.

“She is an outstanding student academically and in extracurricular activities. She is a leader of her senior class and a role model for the underclassmen. She is a team player, always pitching in to help other students,” read her nomination.

Multiple attempts to reach Reynolds this month were unsuccessful.