Shelley valedictorian excels on the track and in the classroom

Shelley High senior David Searle compares success in school to success in cross-country racing — both require preparation and a lot of stamina.

And Searle should know: He’s Shelley’s valedictorian and a two-time state track champion in the 800-meter race.

Shelley High School valedictorian, David Searle, competes in a cross-country race (Photo: Lori Johnson) 

“My parents just sort of always taught me that hard work is important,” Searle said. “Growing up, they always kept me busy, working in the garden and things like that on the weekends.”

Shelley history teacher John Crawford said Searle deserves full credit for the success that has come his way.

“He achieves success the old fashioned way, with hard work and determination,” Crawford said.

Earlier this year, Searle and his cross-country teammates competed for what would have been their third state championship in a row. But X-rays revealed that Searle had developed a fracture in one of his metatarsal bones, making it difficult and painful for him to run. He still competed, but not at a high level. The team finished second.

“David ran, and even though we didn’t win another state championship, he showed what he was willing to do to help his team,” track coach Ryan  Campbell said.

The determination displayed running is similar to Searle’s performance in the classroom – and in life, said Crawford.

“He is, first and foremost, an honorable person. He is very kind and I have seen him many times helping others,” Crawford said.

Searle will serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after graduating this week. He has a full academic scholarship to Utah State University waiting for him.

“Being the valedictorian wasn’t really something I planned on accomplishing,” Searle said. “It just felt good to get good grades, and, before I knew it, they were telling me I was a valedictorian.”


  • Favorite drink? Powerade
  • What are the first three songs on your current music playlist? “Pop Style” by Drake, “Still Here” by Drake and “Antidote” by Travis Scott
  • You just got a free plane ticket to go anywhere. Where are you going?  Hawaii
  • Three things you can’t live without? Toothbrush/toothpaste, showers and good food
  • Who is your favorite teacher? Shelley High School history teacher, John Crawford
Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

Devin was formerly a senior reporter and editor for Idaho Education News and now works for INL in communications.

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