Right before their senior class picnic last Thursday and just after graduation practice, the three top students in the Effingham County High School class of 2010 sat down to share their thoughts on life, so far.
Valedictorian Jacob Curtis’ next step is to the Georgia State University in Atlanta to study music technology in hopes of working in the recording industry before his 10-year reunion.
“I want to work with bands that will make my friends jealous,” he said.
For Curtis and the salutatorian, Micah Jackson, physics teacher Dr. Brian Shinall made the biggest impact in their high school lives.
“He’s just an awesome teacher, a great guy, and he was just a great friend,” Curtis said.
Jackson agreed, and he and honorarian Taylor Roberson added language arts teacher Maureen O’Bryan.
“She was like my in-school mom. I just love her,” said Roberson, adding that the counseling staff pushed her and encouraged her in her high school career.
Jackson will attend Georgia Tech in the fall. He wants to double major in physics and math and minor in philosophy. He intends to get his masters and doctorate degrees as well in pursuit of his goal becoming a college physics professor at a prestigious university.
“I am excited and ready to get to the city,” he said.
Roberson will be enjoying a full-ride to Georgia Southern University, winning the coveted 1906 scholarship, and she plans to use the Goldie Glenn scholarship she won from Gulfstream for her masters. She will major in early childhood education in hopes of teaching first-graders before she obtains her PhD in order to teach college students.
“I like where they are when they start and when they’re finishing because that’s when they are the most into it,” she said.
Each of these ECHS foremost students expressed relief and excitement for graduation and said they are ready to move on, but they left some parting words for their classmates.
“Do whatever you want to do and don’t worry about what other people think,” Curtis said
Echoing this sentiment, Roberson said: “Don’t let other people’s expectations for you get in the way of what you want for yourself.”
Both the number one and the number three students said this idea of staying true to oneself was a lesson they’d learned throughout high school.
For the salutatorian, it was about aiming for and accomplishing objectives.
“Set a goal for yourself in 10 years and just make sure you’re on that track,” Jackson said. “You have to set a goal, otherwise you don’t know what you’re aiming for.”
The ECHS graduation ceremony will take place Friday at 7 p.m. at Rebel Field, and these three can hardly wait.