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SEB student named a National Merit Scholarship finalist
Principal Joni Walker-Seier, Casey Woodrum and Bulloch County Superintendent Lewis Holloway are shown at Southeast Bulloch High after Woodrum learned he was a National Merit Scholarship finalist – the only one in Bulloch. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    There are awards, and then there are honors. Casey Woodrum, who graduated Saturday from Southeast Bulloch High School, has earned quite a few of both. However, his latest recognition puts him in elite company, indeed. Woodrum was named a National Merit Scholarship finalist.    
    The scholarship is awarded only to the very best students across the country and he is the only one for 2008 in Bulloch County.
    During his four years at SEB, Woodrum's special qualities have always shown through, said SEB principal Joni Walker-Seier.
    “Casey epitomizes everything that you would hope for in a young person," she said. "The number of things he has done to make the school a better place, both academically and athletically, almost defies description.”
    Starting with his sophomore year, when he was appointed to the Governors Honors Program, followed by selection in his junior year as a member of Georgia’s ARML (American Regional Mathematics League) team, and ending with Woodrum being named Senior Valedictorian, he has never lost his ability to keep things in proper perspective.
    Woodrum gives much of the credit to his teachers at SEB.
    “My teachers, especially the math teachers, have seen to it that I was always being challenged," he said. "(SEB math teacher) Mrs. Boddiford knew me even before I got to SEB, and once she got a hold of me she never accepted anything from me other than my very best.”
    As proud as his parents are of the honors, his mom, Dr. Jody Woodrum, said, “His dad and I are just as, if not even more proud, of the fact that he is such a caring and compassionate young man," she said. "He always sees the best in other people, and he has a quiet confidence that allows him to be OK just hanging out with his friends.”
    Dr. Woodrum believes her family’s history of being involved in education helped influence how Casey viewed his studies.
    “He grew up with me being a principal (at Brooklet Elementary) and then an administrator in the Bulloch County Schools,” she said.
    She wasn’t the only one in the family who was an educator. Louis N. Woodrum was  Superintendent of Schools in Bulloch for 12 years. Also, many of Woodrum's relatives were teachers, and some are still active today.
    For his final year at SEB, Woodrum took Calculus 3, Differential Equations, and Physics at Georgia Southern; Latin 1 & 2 in the Georgia Virtual On-Line School; and Advanced Placement English and Economics and Government. He will graduate with nearly 30 credits of college-level work, meaning that he can start with his electives immediately.
    Woodrum selected Georgia Tech to go to college, where he intends to major in engineering. He thinks physics, however, may be his true love.
    “I found that as I was leaving school on the way home, I would be looking out the car window thinking about how the laws of physics have such a profound effect on everything we do in our day-to-day lives,” he said.
    Bulloch Schools Superintendent Dr. Lewis Holloway was at SEB for the announcement of Woodrum’s latest accomplishment.
    “Being a National Merit Scholar is the pinnacle of academic excellence for any graduating high school senior," Holloway said. "Casey certainly has earned this recognition, and he has made Bulloch County proud.”
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