Girl Finds Out She’s Valedictorian While Working At Drive-Thru After School Closes In Michigan

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 27 Mar 2020 18:42

A high school student was told she was the class valedictorian while working at a drive-thru, after her school had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

High school senior Kaitlyn Watson unfortunately couldn’t be told the usual way with her school currently being closed, so one of her teachers managed to think of a different way to get the information to her. And her reaction is heartwarming.


As the video shows, Michelle Floering, one of the teachers at the Grand Traverse Academy in Traverse City, Michigan, drives up to the window while being filmed by her passenger, evidently excited to give the teenager the good news.


Michelle explained how she had a different plan to deliver the news, before realising Kaitlyn was working at the drive-thru.

She said:


The Michigan Governor had just issued a ‘Stay at Home’ order for the State of Michigan due to the coronavirus.

Restaurant employees are considered “essential” and were allowed to continue working. All K-12 schools had been ordered closed due to the virus.

We had just completed the process for selecting the valedictorian and I was disappointed that I would have to announce this to Kaitlyn over the phone. I called her home to see if I could FaceTime her and her mom told me that she was working at Culver’s until late that night. I knew I could not wait that long.

Upon arriving at the drive-thru hatch, Michelle is greeted by a different employee so asks if she can speak to Kaitlyn.

Confused, the teenager comes to the window. Michelle explains why she’s being filmed and breaks the exciting news to Kaitlyn.


Visibly over the moon, Kaitlyn repeatedly thanks her teacher for the achievement, while smiling from ear to ear and, of course, keeping her distance.

Michelle added:

I could hardly wait to tell her and I was just beside myself with joy. I have wanted our seniors to have a positive and memorable year, especially Kaitlyn, as she has worked incredibly hard.

Kaitlyn has served as her class president, vice-president, Eco club, Key Club, National Honours Society, Captain of the Track Team, Captain of the Volleyball Team, and so much more, all while working 30 hours a week at Culvers. But more important is that she demonstrates the highest levels of integrity, caring, initiative, optimism, professional work habits and interpersonal communication.

She is such a sweet and humble girl and she was genuinely surprised. She is one of those people who is grateful for everything and she was so thankful for this honour and for being told in person.

It sounds as if it was extremely well deserved. Congratulations Kaitlyn!


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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Michigan