It’s Real on the Hill! From its unique colors – Columbia blue and gold – to its location high atop a hilly region of southwest Atlanta, Benjamin Elijah Mays High School, named after one of the most preeminent African American leaders and scholars in history, has set a distinctive standard. For 34 years, Mays High School students have been meeting and exceeding that standard. The Class of 2016 is no different.
Indeed, this year’s seniors have achieved great accomplishments in the classroom, in athletics and in the community, starting with the valedictorian, salutatorian and STAR Student.
Valedictorian Nicole Gullatt was influenced greatly by one of her science teachers, Tonya Walker, Nicole’s instructor in Intro to Heath Careers, Intro to Biotechnology and Applications of BioTech. Nicole said Ms. Walker showed her all the possibilities and career opportunities that exist in the world of biotechnology, and so she plans to attend Emory University and become a biomedical engineer.
Salutatorian Faith Henry’s greatest influence was right at home. Her mother, Cheryln Henry, was once the valedictorian at rival Douglass High School. This inspired Faith to strive for the same goal. The four-year varsity cheerleader will now shift her focus to graduating with honors from the University of Georgia.
STAR Student David Price is a budding scientist who wants to be a real-life Tony Stark, the alter ego of the mythical superhero Ironman. Mr. Stark is known in comic books and movies for using science to solve common problems. David, who plans to attend Morehouse College, wants to do the same.
The Raiders’ Class of 2016 also boasts a Gates Scholar (D’Andre Brown), a Georgia STAR ESOL Student (Amy Diallo), a Posse Scholar (Sharah Hutson). In Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE), Mays has four YBI Scholarship recipients (Deandre Brown, Dante Harris, Kaylin Hart and Nevelyn Thomas), two seniors who passed the Broadcasting Pathway Certification Test (Tashauna Hicks and Shakeira Aaron), a Smith & Howard Scholarship Workshop participant (Hannah Hyder), and 23 seniors who passed the Financial Services End of Pathway Assessment. Additionally, the school was praised for having one of the top greenhouses in the state of Georgia.
Desiree Welch helped lead the class’ community service efforts by participating in a project in Africa where she helped educate female youth on hygiene and other important issues. JROTC Cadet Emmanuel Patterson earned a prestigious Legion of Valor Award. He is the only Georgia recipient and one of only 20 honorees nationwide. Additionally, Cadet Captain Marlena Simmons attended Georgia Girls State, Cadet Lieutenant Emmanuel Patterson and Cadet Dante Harris attended Georgia Boys State, Cadet Major Praycious White and Cadet Major Faith Henry attended the West Point Summer Leadership Academy.
Arts and Athletics
It was also a stellar year for extra-curricular activities on “The Hill.” Benjamin Oglesby-Davis earned the distinction of Orchestra Concert Master.
On the field, the Raider baseball team had a historic season, compiling the program’s best record (20-4) and winning its first region championship. The team became the first APS team and one of the first in metro Atlanta, to be invited to participate in the Rawlings Select Classic, one of the nation’s most prestigious tournaments. The girls’ track and competition cheerleading squads each won region championships as well. In football, five Raiders were selected to the All-State Team (Monquavion Brinson, Marquez Daniel, Randrecous Davis, Tobias Little and B.J. Phillips), while seven others made the All-Region Team (Myles Reid, Santonio Mapp, Jamauri Elliott, Xavier Lewis, Deandre Davis, Juwan Williamson and Keevis Montgomery). In basketball, Kennya Sims earned All-State honors while leading her team to the Elite Eight. The boys’ team advanced to the Elite Eight, as well.
Congratulations to all of our Mays High graduates — You make us #APS STRONG!
Read about all of the outstanding APS Valedictorians and Salutatorians: 2016_Vals-Sals_Bios and PhAotos
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