Johnathon Skinner is the Valedictorian at the Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts & Technology, a six-year Middle and High School that is funded by the Georgia Department of Education.
A student at the school for six years, he is the son of John, a self-employed carpenter, and Beverly Skinner of Statesboro. In addition to being this year's selection as Valedictorian, he was elected as president of this year's School Council.
Skinner is enrolled next year at Georgia Southern University, where he will focus his studies in the areas of sociology and psychology. He has a perfect 4.0 average, and said the studies at CCAT have kept him interested and challenged. His favorite teachers: It's a tie, he said, between English teacher Joann Steffen and Social Studies teacher Sheila Nielsen.
He said, "I'm really interested in studying people."
That's probably one of the reasons he has participated in the High School Model United Nations for the past three years. According to him, he also enjoys playing "Real Time Strategy" computer games, because of all the twists and turns their plots entail.
Skinner is an avid fan of movies, and even works in a local movie rental store. He claims to have seen James McTeigue's fantasy-thriller movie "V for Vendetta" (released in 2005) more than 100 times.
Portal High School's Valedictorian is Amanda Lipsey, the daughter of the school's business education teacher. She said she loves math, having served on the math team since arriving at the middle school; and has been a member of both the Beta Club and the Anchor Club (the Pilot Club's student group).
This year, Lipsey served as the editor of Portal's yearbook, "The Panther." She is very proud of all the support the community's businesses gave, as the editorial staff has turned out the very first-ever full color Panther yearbook. Lipsey will head to Georgia Southern University to earn a Pre-Pharmacy degree, and then intends to transfer to the University of Georgia and enter the Pharmacy School.
In addition, she he has served as the majorette on the Portal "Panther" football team. Lipsey started twirling in eighth grade. As a youngster, her father took her to see the Georgia Southern Majorettes do their "flaming twirl."
Ever since then, she said, she "has wanted to do this, at least once. I was ecstatic when Portal's coaches agreed to allow me to do a solo "flaming twirl" for the last football game this year."
She will miss her teachers, especially Amy Bettinger, Math teacher and the wife of school counselor Joe Bettinger.
Statesboro High School's Valedictorian is Julie Stalcup. She said she loves science, and was a member of both the Science Quiz Bowl and Science Olympiad teams that took first place at the Science Olympiad Regional competitions in both 10th and 12th grades.
She loves the water, and has been on both SHS's swim team for four years, and on Bulloch County's "Sharks" swim team since the first grade. She is also this year's co-president of Statesboro's SCREAM club (Students Committed to Recycling Environmental Activism in Moderation).
Both her parents work at Georgia Southern University: her mom Joan is the director of the International Studies Program; and her dad, Larry, is a professor in Hospitality, Tourism, Family & Consumer Sciences. Sherrod intends to enroll as a double major in both Economics and Mathematics in the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University as a John Emory Scholar.
Never one to shirk a challenge, Sherrod said "if you really want to do something, and show that you're willing to put the effort forth, the faculty at SHS are willing to do whatever it takes, and then will help you along the way. That is so great."
Her favorite teacher is, curiously, one with whom she never took a class: Science Team Advisor Richard McCombs.
Southeast Bulloch High School Valedictorian Jordan Sherrod is in a class of her own.
At SEB Jordan has excelled in all of her academic studies; she has been on the "Stingers," the dance component of the now-famous SEB marching band, "The Swarm." She served as its captain for the past two years; and has been a member of the award-winning SEB Advanced Chorus ever since it was formed.
She also has been on the tennis team for four years, served on the BETA Club for four years, and been a member of HOSA, the Health Occupations Students of America organization. Her parents are Connie, who works at East Georgia Regional Medical Center as a Lab Tech, and Barry, who works as an appraiser for Clifton's Forestry Service.
She will start at Georgia Southern University in August, and she plans to major in biology with a minor in music. Sherrod has high hopes for a successful career in the field of Radiology, but will always be an artist at heart, she said. While at SEB, she said "It has been really cool having dance and chorus classes with my sister Jessica, as I could mentor and advise her."
Two teachers she said she'll miss most are Brent Whittaker, her Chorus teacher and Susan Boddiford, her Trigonometry and Statistics teacher.