Cassidy Sivils is Portal Middle High School’s valedictorian. The daughter of Brenda Sivils of the Middleground area, she loves her small town roots of Portal, but loves big cities. She will head to Athens this fall to attend the University of Georgia.
She has always been known for her high academic achievements beginning in fifth grade when she won the Coca-Cola award for having the highest GPA for the school year. She continued to be one of the top students in her classes through middle school, and in ninth grade she again received the highest GPA honors. For the past three years, it’s been a friendly competition between her and her friend Caree McGahee, who is PMHS’ salutatorian.
“We encouraged each other and held each other accountable,” Sivils said. “I really though it (valedictorian) would go to her. We were only separated by three-tenths of a point.”
Sivils has been extremely active during her years at Portal. She was active in Beta Club, FCCLA, FBLA, Anchor Club, and a member of the FFA Forestry Team. As a student athlete she played first base on the softball team for four years, was a member of the soccer team as a player and later manager, a manager for the baseball team, and an athletic training assistant for the football team.
While she’s not yet decided on a major, she started her collegiate studies by being dual enrolled at both Ogeechee Technical College and Georgia Southern University. She’s looking forward to UGA and her classes there as well in the fall.
“I’m all about community service, so I want to take it easy the first semester, but then be available to serve.” She knows that UGA offers many opportunities for its students to volunteer.
She will miss her classmates. The 55-member graduating class is very close.
“I love our teachers in Portal, and I will miss catching up with my elementary, middle and high school teachers. They keep up with us and how we’re doing. We see each other in the grocery store, and my kindergarten teacher lives right down the road from me,” she said.
When asked about her favorite subjects, she was quick to say math and Spanish.
“Cassidy is obviously an outstanding student by all of her achievements but I was most impressed by how she was always willing to help others,” said Dennis Moore, her high school math teacher. “In class, if a student needed help and I was already helping someone else then she would stop her own work to help them out. I always told her that she could be a math teacher if she wanted to and her classmates agreed. What I know for certain is that she will be successful in whatever path she chooses. “
Sivils’ Spanish teacher, Shannon Hattaway, had equal praise.
“Cassidy has a big heart to go along with her big intellect. She sacrificed many hours of personal time to help make life better for people in need in Bulloch County as a member of our Anchor Club. I am very proud to have been a part of her high school experience. I know that she will continue to make the world a better place,” she said.
Sivils said it will be difficult to leave her mom and her younger sister Kara behind, but they have always encouraged her to go for her dreams.
“They are really excited for me.”