‘A bittersweet moment’


Just recently, senior Cynthia Edwards came home from classes at Brownstown Central High School and told her mother all about her day.

That’s when it hit her that soon, she won’t be doing that anymore. She will be heading off to college, where she will have to adjust to being on her own, living with a roommate and spending countless hours studying and completing assignments.

It’s also going to be different with her friends. She realizes that while the bonds they’ve made will last, they will be going their separate ways after graduation, which is set for 10 a.m. Saturday in the high school gymnasium.

“There are so many lasts your senior year — last band concert, last choir show. Every time there is another last, you’re like, ‘Wow!’” Edwards said. “But there also were a lot of firsts this year. I had my first choir show, and I had my first musical. It’s just kind of surreal knowing that everything is going to be different. It definitely is a bittersweet moment.”

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Edwards transferred from Medora to Brownstown before her seventh-grade year.

She said she always focused on academics, but that kicked up a notch in high school when she decided to enroll in dual-credit and Advanced Placement classes.

Edwards will graduate with more than 30 college credits and won’t have to take any math classes at the next level.

“I always was raised knowing that I needed to have a good education,” she said. “My mom never forced it, but she was always just like, ‘You’ve got to go to college,’ so I knew if I wanted to go to college and get into a good college, I needed a good base education.”

Out of the 135 graduating seniors, Edwards will be one of 54 earning an Indiana Academic Honors Diploma. She also is one of only 10 maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average in high school.

“Growing up, my mom was always like, ‘You need to keep your A’s,’ so every time I got a B, she was like, ‘All right, work on it,’” she said. “I never got in trouble for it, but she was like, ‘You need to work on that,’ and it kind of helped me. Also, I was around people that were getting A’s, and I was like, ‘I need to be as good as they are,’ so it definitely pushed me to get better grades.”

Band was a major part of Edwards’ career. She started band in fourth grade at Medora and continued with it once she moved to Brownstown.

At the end of her freshman year, a fellow band member encouraged her to try out to be a drum major. She earned that title and trained during her sophomore year and then was on the field for her final two years.

Helping fellow band members and seeing them improve was rewarding, Edwards said.

“The first time you see them do something you taught them, it’s kind of like, ‘Wow! I helped them learn that,’” she said. “Then your first performance, you’re like, ‘I was a part of this,’ and it kind of lets you see that you’re a part of something bigger. It was a great, eye-opening experience. I don’t know if I was necessarily ever really shy, but I’m more open to talking to people, and it’s just easier to communicate now.”

Edwards said playing at football and basketball games and being together in concerts and in class also made band enjoyable.

“I found some of my best friends through it because we’re together every concert, every football game. Then you get to see the people in the stands are excited to see you,” she said. “Probably some of the best times I’ve had were in band.”

In high school, Edwards also was involved in Academic Super Bowl and Science Olympiad for three years; student council, track and field and choir for one year; and Destination Imagination and National Honor Society for two years.

A rewarding experience, she said, was being involved in Brownstown Teen Student Tutors all four years. After taking a 12-hour certification class before her freshman year, she was able to tutor students in kindergarten through fifth grade once a week after school.

She racked up 150 community service hours through tutoring.

“I tutored this one kid, and his mom came in and gave me his report card. She was like, ‘He used to have C’s,’ and he had B’s and A’s. She was like, ‘This is the best he’s ever had,’” Edwards said. “It was another one of those (moments) like, ‘I got to help that.’ It was great.”

After high school, Edwards is going to University of Southern Indiana to study social work. She said she feels prepared after having a good high school experience.

“I really like what they have to offer here and how all of the teachers are super friendly,” she said. “I haven’t had one teacher that I’ve been afraid to go talk to. I’ve known them more on a personal level than I feel like a bigger school would. Just the people in general, all of the students are really pretty nice. It was just a really good, fun time.”

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Name: Cynthia Edwards

Age: 17

Hometown: Crothersville

School: Brownstown Central High School

School activities: Band, Academic Super Bowl, Science Olympiad, student council, track and field, Brownstown Teen Student Tutors, National Honor Society, Destination Imagination, choir

Future plans: Attend University of Southern Indiana and major in social work

Family: Mother, Sarah Foist; father, Roy Edwards; sister, Tiara Edwards; brother, Roy Edwards; stepbrother, Levi Emmons

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What: Brownstown Central High School graduation

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Brownstown Central High School gymnasium

Who: 135 seniors will graduate


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