Boyd Graduation 2018: Lawson, Bunch seek to train next generation of academic heroes

Published Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Kali Bunch and Cody Lawson

Salutatorian Kali Bunch and Valedictorian Cody Lawson. Messenger photo by Joe Duty, design by Joy Carrico

Like a dynamic duo, Cody Lawson and Kali Bunch figured out quickly in high school they were better working together than against each other.

So in their quest to lead the Boyd Class of 2018, they often depended on each other for help.

Cover design by Pierre Moua

“I definitely helped him with math and he helped me with English,” Bunch said.

Lawson added: “There definitely wasn’t any bad blood.”

Bunch, the daughter of Erin and Eric Bunch, will graduate May 25 as the class’ salutatorian. Lawson, the son of Dennis and Jennifer Lawson, will be the valedictorian.

For Lawson, this has been a goal since he started high school.

“When I started my freshman year, I said I need to be valedictorian or salutatorian. I didn’t care which one. I needed to be either one of those.”

It didn’t take long for them to realize they would be filling those top two spots, and they pushed each other along the way.

“We were mostly in the same classes. We always worked hard,” Bunch said.

Their teamwork carried over out of the classroom. Both were members of National Honors Society, FCCLA, one-act play, UIL academics and student government. Bunch was also in band and Lawson was the color guard captain.

In getting to the top of the class, they credited others with helping them. Lawson thanked former Boyd English teacher Amy Wilson.

“My big motivation was my freshman English teacher Mrs. Wilson. She not only motivated me my freshman year but also my sophomore and junior year. She is still motivating me though she doesn’t teach there anymore,” Lawson said. “She’s been my biggest inspiration and influence. I probably owe 99 percent of my success to her. If I ever had a problem in school or personally, she would be there for me to encourage me, push me. Still to this day. Her love is tough.”

Bunch said Wilson also had an influence on her during their time in one-act play together. She also credited math teacher Mario Rondon for pushing her.

“I never personally had him as a teacher, but he’s always been a mentor to me,” Bunch said.

As they head to college, both are planning to enter the education field.

Lawson will be leaving Boyd to attend Texas State University in San Marcos to major in English. He wants to teach English one day at the college level.

“I picture myself in a college classroom,” Lawson said.

Bunch is heading to Denton to Texas Woman’s University and will pursue interdisciplinary studies.

“It’s just a super fancy way of saying education,” Bunch said. “I want to be an elementary teacher hopefully at Boyd. I hope to be a special education teacher because right now there is a high demand for them.”

They both hope to share their passion for learning with others.

“I love learning every single day,” Bunch said.

Lawson added: “I want to be more than an educator or teacher. I want to be another Mrs. Wilson.”

As they prepare for the next step in life, they say their experience at Boyd has prepared them. It’s another reason why Bunch said she wants to return to the school district in the future.

“There’s so much more to Boyd than people see. People don’t understand the hidden talent at Boyd,” Bunch said. “I want to see it grow.”

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