Clay Oldham will go to the University of Georgia this fall, but has yet to decide between marine biology and a medical career.
His grades, as valedictorian of Trinity Christian School, afford him that kind of choice. While he has maintained A's in everything, his favorite subject is "anything science related." He enjoyed chemistry class this year and last year did an independent study in marine science through the school, an overview to give him a taste of what the study of the oceans would be like in college.
"I've always loved everything about it, really. I always loved going to the beach and then I wanted to learn more about it, and so I would look it up as a little kid, and I've always had a fish tank," Oldham said.
He currently keeps a 55-gallon saltwater aquarium, where two clownfish are his favorites.
But he wonders if marine biology would pay the bills, and also thinks about becoming a doctor. His father is Dr. Ben Oldham, the OB/GYN. His mother is Beth, and he has an older brother, Turner, who lives in Kentucky, and sister, Callie, now in Hendersonville, N.C.
In earlier years his father served in the Army, and the Oldhams lived all over -- North Carolina, California, even Germany. But Clay arrived at Trinity in eighth grade, so it has been his only high school. He is a member of the Honor Society and the Student Council, serving as president this year.
A tenor, he sang in the school choir and has also performed with the Statesboro Youth Chorale for five years. Meanwhile, he has risen to second-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do through Statesboro Karate.
Oldham took a sociology class at Georgia Southern last semester. But he did not joint enroll this semester so that he could instead take the trip to Europe that is available to Trinity juniors and seniors once every two years. Four students, each with a parent, traveled with teacher Donna McKenna, who organizes the trips, to London, Paris, Florence, Rome and Pompeii.
"It was awesome," said Oldham, who especially enjoyed Italy. He had been there once before with his family, but was too young then to remember much about it.
Now he is a young man with goals, and not just for college.
"In 10 years I hope to be married with a family somewhere," he said.
Trinity Christian School's graduation service was held Friday at Trinity Presbyterian Church.