In April, Manchester High School alum Erin King was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award from Muskingum University in New Concord. The event recognizes the top 5 percent of the student body at its annual Scholarship Recognition Day.

Ending her sophomore year with a 4.0 GPA, King earned the Second Year Award complete with a silver key and a scholarship. King also won the First Year Award as a freshman and collected her bronze key. Next year, King hopes to earn the Third Year Award and its gold key.

King has always been at the top of her class. She graduated from Manchester High as the valedictorian.

"I’ve always been really enjoyed school and that’s something that I took pride in," said King.

Another driving factor in King’s success has been her mom, but not for the reasons people might think.

"She’s never pressured me to be anything spectacular, but she supported me through everything," said King. "That gives me the confidence to do better. When I get discouraged about myself, she’d be there to love me unconditionally. I could be getting all Cs and she would still love me. She’s my role model."

Now as she heads into her junior year, King still likes to keep busy. She is a double major in early childhood education and special education with a minor in theater. Minoring in theater has helped her continue her passion for the stage, an avocation which started in middle school. So far she has performed in "The Dining Room" and "Uphill Both Ways" as well as crewed spotlight for another show.

Somehow, she still manages to fit in more. King is in choir and takes part in Greek life as a member of the sorority Theta Phi Alpha. She credits her success to the great time management skills that she learned in high school.

"Honestly, compared to high school, college has been a breeze," she said. "You’re not locked in a building from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. In high school, you have class every day and homework every night. In college, you only have class a few times a week so you have time to get homework done."

King is looking forward to a future as an elementary teacher. She remembers playing school as a kid and staying back in the classroom during recess because she wanted to help her teacher.

"I haven’t decided where I wanted to teach yet. I would really love to come back to Manchester," said King.

While she doesn’t have plans to be a special education teacher, she finds that the education is important.

"I feel like it’s important to have those skills because you’re always going to have special needs students in your class so you can better help those students," she said.