Graduation 2016: All County Scholars
Nickolas Cox of Carson High School is the son of Edward and Sandra Cox. He will be attending Duke University and majoring in biomedical engineering. His career goal is to become a prosthetist for a big name company.
His senior project was on the technicalities of running a 400m.
He got a letter for his involvement in cross country, indoor track, outdoor track and field. He had leadership positions on the Leadership Team, Student Council, Crosby Scholars and NHS. He volunteered with Habitat For Humanity and Broyhill Leadership Conference.
His defining moment was when he went skydiving for the first time and embraced his adventurous side.
Secret to high school success: His determination and hopefulness that his hard word will pay off.
If I had $10 million: I would use a portion of the proceeds to fund our school’s Cross Country and Track and Field programs. I would build on to our stadium, rip out the asphalt track, and replace it with a rubber one. I would also use some of the money to build our school a real Cross Country course.
Morgan Claire Hester of Carson High School is the daughter of Trish and Chip Hester. She is going to Catawba College.
Her senior project was on forensic science.
She was on the student leadership team, NHS and the student advisory for the school, as well as the volleyball team. She also played travel volleyball and works at Chick-Fil-A.
Her defining moment was when she was able to play in the state championship for volleyball.
Secret to high school success: Make sure she kept up with her work.
If I had $10 million: I would give a million to Duke eye care center to help with research on the blind like my grandpa and the rest I would use to travel and build a home.
Garrett Ingold of Carson High School is the son of Dana and Kathy Ingold. He is going to attend Duke University and plans to major in mechanical engineering.
His senior project was on mechanical engineering and the manufacturing process.
He was involved in cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track, as well has Student Council, National Honor Society and JCHS Leadership Team. He is also a member of the Faith Lutheran Youth Group.
His defining moment was qualifying for the state cross country meet as a team in 2014.
Secret to high school success: Setting goals for himself and doing whatever it takes to get those goals done.
If I had $10 million: I would establish a fund for students pursuing math- and science-related careers in Rowan County and donate to the math and science departments of local high schools.
Ashlee Lane Wagoner of Carson High School is the daughter of Michele Bryant and Larry Bryant. She is going to Clemson University to major in mechanical engineering. Her goal is to work on something innovative that could positively change the world, and she can see herself in a lab setting, putting her intelligence and college education to good use.
Her senior project was on forensic psychology.
She was involved in swimming (all county, regional qualifier three times), NHS vice president, drama club officer board member. She helps around the house and takes care of her three younger siblings, as well as attending and volunteering at Mount Mitchell United Methodist Church.
Her defining moment in her life is when her mother had her sister. It changed the family dynamic and gave her responsibilities she’d never been used to – and gave her the goal of being someone’s role model.
Secret to high school success: getting ahead in homework. It’s always better to be ahead rather than behind. She made a point to avoid procrastination even when work got difficult. She also made sure to respect her teachers.
If I had $10 million: I would first pay off my student debt. With half of the remaining money I would create a comfortable living style for myself and my loved ones. I would donate a fourth of the remaining money to a charity that aids the homeless. The rest of the money would be saved to travel to all the places I have always dreamed of going.
Corbin Alexander Elliott of East Rowan High School is the son of John and Rhonda Elliott of Gold Hill. He is going to High Point University to double major in music with a concentration in voice and psychology with a pre-law tract. He wants to either perform on Broadway or become an attorney/judge.
Senior project involved the topic of serial killers.
He lettered in basketball, cross country and tennis, and is a member of Honors Chorus, National Honor Society, Student Government, Junior Civitan and is an Eagle Scout. He has been involved with several Piedmont Players productions (including playing the lead role in Tarzan) as well as being cast as Shrek in the Carson High School 2015 musical. He also volunteered on a mission trip to Imockalee, Florida.
His defining moment was when Mr. Dean Orbison, chorus teacher, let him be the only freshman to audition for Honors Chorus. This led to him being chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall his senior year.
Secret to high school success: Be a well-rounded student.
If I had $10 million: I would open my own music school.
James Isaiah Emerson — “Ike” of East Rowan High School is the son of Bonnie and Jim Emerson and the grandson of Barbara Rufty. He plans to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point and study life sciences. He wants to go to medical school and become an Army doctor.
His senior project was on the effect of the honeybee on society.
He has lettered in swimming and tennis four years and cross country two years. He has achieved all-county recognition in swimming one year and tennis four years. He is co-president of the East Rowan National Honor Society and a member of Student Council and Junior Civitan. He is also an AP scholar with honors. He is an Eagle Scout and attends St. John’s Lutheran Church.
His defining moment was when he received a standing ovation at the senior awards ceremony.
Secret to high school success: His competitive nature
If I had $10 million: I would pursue my same career path.
Charles Addison Fry of East Rowan High School is the son of Charley and Jenna Fry. He is attending college at George Washington University and is planning to major in biology. He wants to have a passionate, purposeful, successful career that makes him content.
His senior project was on the advantages of modern percussion.
His activities include 2016 All-Conference Tennis, Sigma Phi Gamma vice president, drum major of the marching band, pit section leader of the marching band, 2012 NCASC Western District Vice Chair, student body president and NHS co-president. He is involved in youth leadership and mission trips as well as church music.
His defining moment was during freshman year when he refused to succumb to peer pressure and leave the baseball team to pursue his passion for music.
Secret to high school success: When deciding between doing homework and taking a nap, the nap always prevailed.
If I had $10 million: I would tithe, then invest the rest in a well-diversified portfolio based on Markowitz’s Efficient Frontier Model.
Margaret Young of East Rowan High School is the daughter of Graham and Tammy Young. She plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and study journalism.
For her senior project she researched the importance of art in school.
She served as the Lieutenant Governor, secretary and Sergeant at Arms for the NCDW Junior Civitans, was a member of the National Honor Society and the East Rowan Student Council.
A defining moment in her life was when her grandmother passed away last year. It motivated her to become accepted at the school her grandmother attended.
Secret to high school success: Late nights, supportive family and loyal friends
If I had $10 million: I would travel, invest and donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Brittney Kolette Hogan of North Hills Christian School is the daughter of Marty and Amie’ Hogan. She is planning to attend Western Carolina University to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in acting and a double major in business. Her goal is to enjoy her career to the point that it no longer seems like a job.
Her senior project was to argue for the need for the performing arts in schools.
She was involved in volleyball, basketball and softball. She was president of the North Hills Christian School Jr. Civitan club and served as the school’s Head Prefect.
Her defining moment was when she decided to stop living her life for herself and to live it for everyone around her, especially for her family.
Secret to high school success: Was to not treat high school like something she had to do, but something she gets to do. Because not everyone has the same opportunities.
If I had $10 million: I would start a program that would help funding for school performing art programs, so they are not cut from the American school system.
Gregory Lucas Beam of North Rowan High School is the son of Greg and Renee Beam of Salisbury. He plans to attend the University of South Carolina and major in political science. He hopes to become a lawyer and have a career in politics.
His senior project was on the evolution of sports.
He lettered in tennis, cross-country, wrestling and marching band. He was the tennis and cross-country captain and high brass captain. He works at Food Lion and is a member of Calvary Baptist Church.
Defining moment in his life was the moment he became a big brother.
Secret to high school success: Working with good friends.
If I had $10 million: I would find a way to turn it into $10 billion.
Robert Bryn Gilland of North Rowan High School is the son of Kevin and Dawn Gilland. He is going to High Point University and majoring in game design and music. His goal is to work for Xbox and Microsoft.
For his senior project, he rebuilt a Windows Tower PC.
He is low brass captain in the school marching band. He also attends his church youth group and volunteers at the hospital.
His defining moment was when he received his first car.
Secret to high school success: kept up with schoolwork and homework, took good notes, and took challenging classes.
If I had $10 million: I would pay off my college education, give back to my parents, and create a better tomorrow.
Robert “Rob” Andrew Monroe of North Rowan High School is the son of Mark and Krista Monroe. He is going to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and major in exercise and sports science before attending physical therapy school. His goal is to become a physical therapist and ultimately open his own clinic.
His senior project was on the evolution of physical therapy over the years and on how it helps patients recover.
He has been a member of the varsity baseball team all four years; JV football team freshman and sophomore year; varsity football team the latter half of sophomore year, junior year and senior year. He was the junior class treasurer, is the senior class president and North Rowan High School Ambassador for Rowan County Student Leaders. He is an active member of Rowan County Student Leaders and of the youth group at Bethel Lutheran Church, where he volunteers with Rowan Helping Ministries, American Red Cross blood drives, and with the Sharing Shepherds mission trips to West Virginia each Christmas.
His defining moment was in seventh grade when he broke his femur playing football, for which he had to receive physical therapy. He was inspired to become a physical therapist because he is inspired to help others the way the therapist helped him.
Secret to high school success: he manages his time very well and tries to be very well rounded.
If I had $10 million: I would pay for my sister’s, my cousins’, and my own college educations. I would also give some money to my church and to my school. After that, I would buy a nice house and car.
Corbin Caroline Parrott of Salisbury High School is the daughter of Jake and Carole Parrott. She intends to go to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and major in exercise science. Her goal is to be a pediatrician.
She is an active member of the women’s golf team and the swim team. Caroline is president of the Junior Civitan club, vice president of Young Conservatives Club, junior president of National Honor Society and senior secretary of National Honor Society. She is the vice president of the North Carolina Lutheran Youth Board and participates in St. John’s Lutheran Church. She is also the Salisbury Academy assistant golf coach.
Her defining moment was traveling around southern Europe with some of her best friends, expanding her cultural horizons, developing her love for travel and learning more about the world around her.
Secret to high school success: stepping out of her comfort zone in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities.
If I had $10 million: I would travel the world, pay for myself and my siblings’ education expenses, put some in savings, donate to my church and to pediatric cancer research, and invest the rest.
Grace Ruthanna Steinman of Salisbury High School is the daughter of Tim and Jenny Steinman. She is going to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is planning on majoring in biology. Her goal is to become a veterinarian or physician’s assistant.
Her senior project was on hunger, and how she started a backpack program at her high school as a freshman to feed hungry students in the community.
She was involved in tennis (including All Conference, All Region, All state player, and the MVP of the State Tournament), secretary of the Student Government Association, Key Club and Junior Civitan, Salisbury Youth Council, Executive Vice Chair of Finance Committee. She attended Costa Rica for two summers with Teens on a Mission and she works at Chick-Fil-A
Her defining moment was attending Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico during the summer of 2013.
Secret to high school success: Study, study, study.
If I had $10 million: I would give every hungry student in Rowan County a backpack filled with food for the weekend. I would pay my college education, invest, and give back to my community and my church.
Matthew Franklin Washko of Salisbury High School is the son for Dr. Ken and Nancy Washko of Salisbury. He will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to major in chemistry with plans to become a doctor and help many people.
His senior project was on the weighted benefits of personal investments. He explored stock trading, bonds, and wealth advising.
He was involved in soccer, cross country, tennis and indoor track. Washko earned the Salisbury Rotary Club Outstanding Athlete Award, was All County in cross country, All Conference in cross country and track, conference champion in track, soccer, tennis and cross country.
His honors include being a member of National Honor Society, Key Club, Junior Civitan, Young Conservatives and International Club. He was an AP Scholar with Distinction, STEM Scholar with Distinction, Junior Rotarian, and earned the Excellence in Community Service Award.
Outside of school, he volunteered with childhood cancer awareness with organizations like Be the Match, Make-A-Wish and Relay for Life, and worked at his church as an altar server and in the Lord’s Bounty Community Garden which provides fruits and vegetables to several organizations in the community
His defining moment: Going back and winning a second soccer State Championship as a senior starter after getting to play briefly as a sophomore in our first state championship win. “It was a great experience that I got to share with all of my teammates.”
Secret to high school success: Working hard but not stressing out and just enjoying time with my friends.
If I had $10 million: I would ask the bank for it in pennies. I’m just kidding, I would invest it to make even more and donate to charity while living a comfortable life.
Grace Catherine Yatawara of Salisbury High School is the daughter of Chanaka and Gayle Yatawara. She is going to East Carolina University and majoring in biomedical engineering.
Her senior project was on the physics of golf.
She lettered in Women’s Golf for four years. She is the treasurer of National Honor Society, the Sophomore Class and Senior Class, and treasurer of the Salisbury Youth Council. She has been involved with the Salisbury Youth Council and Blockwork Project Volunteer.
Her defining moment was beginning golf at the age of 10.
Secret to high school success: Time management and determination.
If I had $10 million: I would donate the money to Sri Lanka to improve housing conditions.
Andrew Neil Eller of South Rowan High School is the son of Rodney Eller and Kris Rash. He is going to University of North Carolina at Charlotte to major in engineering. His goal is to receive his four year degree from UNC Charlotte in engineering and find a job at home in North Carolina.
His senior project was on landscaping.
He was the 2015-2016 vice president of the South Rowan FFA chapter, member of the National Honor Society, member of the DECA club, secretary of the FFA Parliamentary Procedure team for the last four years. He is valedictorian of his senior class. He has volunteered at Main Street Mission as well as helping with adopt-a-highway. He’s also worked for F&E Landscape Supply nearly every Sunday and during the summer for the last four years.
His defining moment was when his parents divorced. He decided that he would not let that get in the way of his education, and it made him work harder to achieve his goals.
Secret to his high school success: Work hard and don’t procrastinate. Don’t put things off until the last minute and give assignments your best effort.
If I had $10 million: If I had ten million dollars, I would construct a medieval castle. I think it would be insanely awesome to have my own castle. I know this isn’t the conventional method of spending ten million dollars, but I opted to be a little more creative. I am a big fan of The Walking Dead after all, and what better way to ride out the zombie apocalypse than in my own personal castle?
Josefina Gutierrez-Marin of South Rowan High School is the daughter of Robert and Guillermina Gutierrez. She is going to High Point University to major in nursing and minor in Spanish. Her goal is to become a physician’s assistant.
Her senior project was on her hobby, dancing. She learned a traditional dance from Israel.
She helps with Sunday school at church and she volunteers at blood drives.
The most defining moment of her life will be her high school graduation.
Secret to high school success: doing her homework
If I had $10 million: I would pay all my debts and buy my parents a house because they’ve always put my needs in front of theirs.
Micah Victoria Helms of South Rowan High School is the daughter of Eric and Kimberly Helms. She wants to go to High Point University and get her doctorate in pharmacy. Her goal is to become a pharmacist and own her own pharmacy.
Her senior project involved working with special needs children and adults.
She lettered in swimming, cross country (was a part of the All-County cross country team twice) and track. Her leadership positions are student body president, president of Crosby Scholars, Interact Club president. Outside of school, she is the AWANA club games director for her church and she visits sick children dressed up as their favorite princess.
Her defining moment was when she was crowned South Rowan High School Homecoming Queen.
Secret to high school success: she didn’t let failures define her. She learned that it was OK to fail, as long as one learned from their mistakes and tried again.
If I had $10 million: I would not have to worry about student loans for college, I would travel the world, help those in poverty, and have a big goat farm.
Dillon Keith Minehart of South Rowan High School is the son of Aaron and Beth Minehart. He plans to attend University of North Carolina at Charlotte for engineering. He would like to have a career in an engineering field, particularly systems engineering.
His senior project was a comparison of protestant denominations.
He is a leader of the South Rowan JROTC, Chief Junior Marshall and Member of the National Honor Society. He is also the assistant in the Highest Praise FWC Children’s Ministry Team and assistant leader in the Highest Praise FWC Youth Group.
His defining moment was being infected with an antibiotic resistant strain of strep at four years old. There was a chance he would not survive the infection. This has taught him that his life has a purpose and that he is a survivor.
Secret to high school success: Picking a goal in ninth grade and sticking to it.
If I had $10 million: I would build a recreation/learning center that would allow children to pursue their interests and get help on their academics.
Kayla Sue Blackburn of West Rowan High School is the daughter of Thomas and Sue Blackburn. She is attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is going to major in engineering with a concentration in biomedical engineering. Her goal is to obtain a doctorate in a field of science or medicine.
Her senior project was on children’s ministry.
She lettered in cheerleading, cross country, track and field. She was FFA president, Bible Club secretary, Youth Christians International Leader, and West Rowan Leadership Team Member. She is active in the Cove Church at West Rowan and running.
Her defining moment was singing solo in front of an audience for the first time in her high school’s musical.
Secret to her high school success: An encouraging family and a supportive group of friends.
If I had $10 million: I would travel the world with my family.
Mikayla Brooke Graham of West Rowan High School is the daughter of Tommy and Tammy Graham. She is going to North Carolina State and majoring in plant and soil science with a crop biotechnology concentration. Her goal is to become a genetic engineer or plant breeder that develops new plant varieties.
Her senior project was on veterinary medicine.
She was involved in cheerleading, volleyball, swimming and soccer, as well as Vice President of NHS and participation in FFA and Serve-U. She was an intern at the Piedmont Research Station and High Rock Club Volleyball.
Her defining moment was attending the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa.
Secret to high school success: Taking every opportunity offered to her, even when it was challenging or out of her comfort zone.
If I had $10 million: I would use it to develop a sustainable plan for farmers in poverty stricken areas that would help fight world hunger.
Victoria Patterson of West Rowan High School is the daughter of Doug and Michelle Patterson. She is attending North Carolina State and plans to major in agricultural business management.
Her senior project was on marketing.
She lettered in cross-country, cheerleading, swimming and soccer. She also served as the vice president of Serve-U for two years. She is involved in Thyatira Presbyterian Church’s youth program and adult choir.
Secret to high school success: Her perfectionist approach to assignments and a desire to make others happy.
If I had $10 million: I would pay off any debts, buy the necessities, and save the rest so that I could invest my time and resources into helping others.
Thomas Webb of West Rowan High School is the son of Tom and Melissa Webb. He is going to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and majoring in chemistry.
His senior project was on computer programming.
He was involved in several sports, including cross country, swimming and tennis. He was a member of NHS and JCL (Latin Club).
His defining moment was his acceptance into UNC.
Secret to high school success: Studied enough to make sure he knew his course material and tried not to stress out over homework.
If I had $10 million: I would use it to cover all of the expenses needed for my education, then travel the world and live luxuriously.
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