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Class of 2016 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

Last Updated: 7/2/2018 8:42 PM

CCSD Honors Class of 2016 Valedictorians, Salutatorians

CCSD Scholars Recognition Banquet 5 26 16 The Cherokee County School District’s Class of 2016 Valedictorians and Salutatorians are, from left to right, front row: Woodstock HS Salutatorian Kendall Alsup, Sequoyah HS Salutatorian Madison Evans, River Ridge HS Salutatorian Alex Rautio, Etowah HS Salutatorian Sarah Autry, Creekview HS Salutatorian Peyton Heath, Cherokee HS Salutatorian Conner Stevens; back row: Woodstock HS Valedictorian Michael Gustafson, Sequoyah HS Valedictorian Mackenzie Joy, River Ridge HS Valedictorian Matthew Wang, Etowah HS Valedictorian Sara Kate Brockmeier, Creekview HS Valedictorian Claire Roop and Cherokee HS Valedictorian Joshua Freeman.

The Cherokee County School District and School Board honored the Class of 2016 Valedictorians and Salutatorians during the 16th Annual Scholar Recognition Banquet on Wednesday at Woodmont Golf & Country Club.

The evening was attended by the Scholars and their parents, the teacher each Scholar chose as the most influential in his or her education, CCSD’s high school Principals, the Superintendent of Schools and members of his senior staff, and the School Board.

“We are here to congratulate each of you for your extraordinary academic accomplishments and to recognize some of the wonderful teachers who played an important role in facilitating and supporting your success,” School Board Chair Kyla Cromer told the Scholars. “We are all so proud of you; but no one can be as proud as your parents, and we also congratulate them… because we know that they have been right there with you every step of the way.”

Following a buffet dinner, the guests heard speeches by the Scholars and their favorite teachers. The students and teachers were congratulated by the Superintendent and School Board, and each student received an iPad, $50 gift card and plaque. Each teacher received a plaque and $100 gift card.

The dinner and gifts were made possible by donations from sponsors: Platinum: EF Tours, KRH Architects Inc., Manley, Spangler & Smith, Northside Hospital-Cherokee, Poole’s Insulation Co. and Woodmont Golf & Country Club; Gold: Brown & Brown Insurance of Georgia, NOVA Engineering, Seasonal Designs Landscaping and Traditions Turf Management Inc.; and Silver: Floorcare Specialists, The Travel Store Inc. and True Natural Gas.

“Tap into your ‘Why?’” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower told the Scholars at the banquet’s conclusion. “Know why you want to do what you want to do, and it will all fall into place. We’re so proud of you and all you have accomplished.”

The Scholars and their honored teachers are:

Cherokee HS
Valedictorian Joshua Freeman, who will study microbiology at Vanderbilt University
Teacher: Tammie Robillard, who taught Joshua in AP math classes at Cherokee HS

Salutatorian Conner Stevens, who will study physiology and developmental biology at Brigham Young University to pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon
Teacher Heather Smith, who taught Conner in AP history classes at Cherokee HS

Creekview HS
Valedictorian Claire Roop, who will study computer science at Georgia Tech to pursue a career in executive management for a Fortune 500 company
Teacher: Tom Armstrong, who taught Claire in AP math classes at Creekview HS

Salutatorian Peyton Heath, who will study engineering at Georgia Tech to pursue a career as an engineer for an innovative company
Teacher: Wendy McCarron, who taught Peyton in AP math classes at Creekview HS

Etowah HS
Valedictorian Sara Kate Brockmeier, who will study math and psychology to pursue a career in math, neuropsychology or teaching
Teacher: Melissa Paurowski, who taught Sara Kate in AP math classes at Etowah HS

Salutatorian Sarah Autry, who will study biomedical engineering to pursue a career as a genetic engineer or radiologist
Teacher: Dr. Wright Vermilya, who taught Sarah in AP math classes at Etowah HS

River Ridge HS
Valedictorian Matthew Wang, who will study computer science at Georgia Tech
Teacher: Kendra Nayman, who taught Matthew in AP literature at River Ridge HS

Salutatorian Alex Rautio, who will study pharmaceutical science at the University of Georgia to pursue a career in research and developing medicine
Teacher: Joy Clarkston, who taught Alex in AP history and government classes at River Ridge HS

Sequoyah HS
Valedictorian Mackenzie Joy, who will study astrophysics and science to pursue a career as a physicist
Teacher: Brian Carnes, who taught Mackenzie in AP science classes at Sequoyah HS

Salutatorian Madison Evans, who will study chemical engineering at Auburn University to pursue a career in the chemistry field or teaching
Teacher: Dr. Wendy Roberts, who taught Madison in AP science classes at Sequoyah HS

Woodstock HS
Valedictorian Michael Gustafson, who will study chemical engineering at Georgia Tech
Teacher: Henry Oglesby, who served as Michael’s Senior Project facilitator at Woodstock HS

Salutatorian Kendall Alsup, who will study biology and genetics at the University of Georgia to pursue a career as an OB-GYN doctor
Teacher: Merry Willis, who taught Kendall in the fifth grade at Carmel ES and served as her Senior Project facilitator