High school graduate series: Spring Hill senior overcomes loss of father to 'grow and evolve'
Editor’s note: This is part of a series of stories on area high school graduates.
When Spring Hill High School senior Carson Wallace applied to be an assistant for teacher Emmie Drueckhammer, she didn’t hesitate to say yes.
She’s been his teacher for three years, for AP World History, AP U.S. History and for Leaders’ Core, which focuses on leadership, volunteerism and service.
“Carson’s awesome,” Drueckhammer said. “He makes a great aide, because he’s very dependable and he’s very hilarious, so he makes the day go by a lot faster and easier.”
It means he spends hours in her class and helping in her classroom each day.
Wallace said there was no other teacher he would have picked, saying he has gotten to know her well during the years he’s spent in her class. They share a love of books and will talk with each other about the books they’re reading.
She was one of the many people in his life who helped him deal with a heavy loss in the years leading up to when he graduates Friday.
His father, Bruce Wallace, died in 2021 from complications of health problems.
“That was really hard, but I think it doesn’t get easier, but it does get more manageable,” the 18-year-old said. “I am here, alive and breathing and doing very well just because the people in my life at that moment not only gave me space but also said you can’t just stop because of that. You have to keep going. You have to keep moving forward. You have to live a life.”
Drueckhammer also taught Wallace’s older sister, Mallory, when she attended Spring Hill. Drueckhammer was worried about both of them when she learned about their father’s death.
“Both have done well considering,” she said. Mallory is doing well in graduate school.
“I just tried to be supportive. Their mother, Brooke Wallace, has been supportive along with family and friends,” she said.
“They have both taken the support they’ve been given and used that to continue to succeed,” Drueckhammer said. “I’m sure it was really difficult, of course, but Carson and Mallory have been able to move forward and keep achieving their goals.”
Wallace’s friendships are something Drueckhammer said have been a “joy to watch.” Those friends immediately rallied together to care for him after his father’s death.
“That’s because of who he is,” she said.
Wallace said he values honesty and loyalty.
“I take it very personally,” he said.
Wallace has attended Spring Hill schools since kindergarten. He’ll graduate 28th in his class out of 128 students, with plans to attend the University of Arkansas. He plans to major in English/creative writing and will have another as yet undetermined double major.
He’s participated in debate and was in theater all four years of high school, earning All Star Cast honorable mentions and All Star Cast at varying levelsl in One Act Play competition. He was in band for several yeara as well.
“My accomplishments in high school are not necessarily things I’ve done but thing’s I’ve been,” he said, serving in leadership positions and participating in extracurricular activities, for instance.
His father’s death doesn’t define him, Wallace said. It’s part of his story, but there’s so much more to the story.
“That grief doesn’t get smaller, but you grow around it,” he said.
He believes he’s grown and matured a lot while he has been at Spring Hill, becoming a different person while keeping the parts of himself that define who he is.
“I feel like I’ve grown and evolved in a lot of ways that I’m appreciative of, even if the way to get there was kind of bad,” Wallace said.