It’s been a healthy competition for the last four years for the top graduates of the Effingham County High School class of 2016.
“We have our transcripts on Parent Portal, and it has our class rank,” said Gabi Usher, who finished as the valedictorian.
Hannah Sincavage is the salutatorian, and Tess DeMeyer is the honoraria for the graduating class.
“We’ve been like this for four years,” said Sincavage.
Usher is headed to the University of Georgia in the fall, where she wants to study international affairs and pre-law, and she has jumped head first into politics.
“This past election season, I’ve gotten really into it,” she said. “I’ve watched every Republican debate. I absolutely love it. I voted in the primary election, and my absolute dream job is to be Megyn Kelly on Fox News, telling Donald Trump how it is and how should it be. I would love that job.”
Sincavage will be attending Georgia Southern University and will pursue writing.
“It’s close to home,” she said, “but it’s far enough away so that I’m not n my parents’ backyard.”
Sincavage recalled writing her first story before she “could even hold a pencil.”
“I told my mom the story and she wrote it down, and I drew the pictures,” she said. “It’s something I’ve been doing for my whole life. If something makes me that happy, I should make it my major and make it my life.”
DeMeyer has the longest trek to college ahead — she’s headed to the Ivy League’s Brown University in Providence, R.I. She credited ECHS counselor Lu Healy for pushing her to “shoot for the stars.”
DeMeyer was skeptical about applying to Brown, which has a 9 percent acceptance rate. But Healy told her that if she didn’t apply, she’d never know.
“I didn’t think I was going to get in,” she said.
DeMeyer, who already has written for the school system, will pursue a writing path at Brown.
“They want every student to be a better writer,” she said of Brown, “and I’m really into writing. If every student has to take a certain amount of writing classes, that sounds like exactly what I wanted to do.”
De Meyer will be in a literary arts concentration at Brown with a focus in sports journalism.
“I want to be Megyn Kelly,” Usher reiterated. “And I want to Erin Andrews,” DeMeyer said.
Seniors have been through with classwork and exams for more than a week, and only the graduation practices have necessitated their presence on campus for the final days of the school year. The end of their high school days has been a welcome finish line.
“I’m glad to know four years of hard work has paid off and it’s not for nothing,” Usher said. “It’s good to be recognized.”
Added DeMeyer: “It’s kind of surreal. It doesn’t feel like we’re done yet, but I’m glad we are.”