Valedictorians and Salutatorians 2019
RMSST 2019 Valedictorian Anthony Mays and Salutatorian Huong HoRCPS Class of 2019 Valedictorians and Salutatorians


2019 SHS Valedictorian Emily Mahabir, left, and Salutatorian Jordan Newton, right

Valedictorian Emily Mahabir
College/University:  University of Georgia.
Intended Major:   Public Health (dual degree program for BA & MA in Public Health)
Intended Career Field:  Pediatrician.
RCPS Schools Attended:  Salem High School and Rockdale Career Academy.
Awards:  Chair for the Metro Atlanta Regional Commission, Regional and state level placement for FBLA competitions, Rotary Four-Way Test Scholarship winner, Superintendent’s Academic Awards Scholar, Board Scholar, Ray A. Kroc Youth Achievement Award, Georgia Certificate of Merit by UGA.
Activities:  Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Treasurer and Secretary, Beta Club officer, National Honors Society Treasurer, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Vice President, Rockdale Youth Leadership, Peer Leader, Interact Club, Work Based Learning, Metro Atlanta Regional Commission, Dual Enrollment, Foreign Language Club and International Cultural Festival founder, 911 communications (intend to be certified as a 911 operator after exam in August), UGA’s Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute for Public Health, daycare worker.
Favorite Subjects:  Calculus – “I’ve always been a math person.”
Teachers/Persons of Note:  Marleta Sigman, Karleta Sigman, friend Jailyn Prewitt.
Family:  mother Gloria Mahabir; father Avi Mahabir, Sr.; older brother Avi, Jr. (SHS Class of 2015)  
Advice for Freshmen:  “Get involved in everything and see what you like and what you don’t like”
Additional thoughts:  “I’ve always been motivated by my teachers. My teachers have always believed in me. I think that’s the main reason I can push myself.”
On taking Dual Enrollment classes – “Although AP is already advanced, it was not fast-paced enough for me. Dual Enrollment - everything is cut down into one semester. It was a lot better. I like learning at a fast pace.”

Salutatorian Jordan Newton
College/University:  Augusta University.  
Intended Major:  Biology.
Intended Career Field:  Trauma Surgeon.
RCPS Schools Attended:  Peek’s Chapel Elementary, Gen. Ray Davis Middle, Salem High & Rockdale Career Academy.
Awards:  Work Based Learning (WBL) Student of the Year RCPS and Regional Student of the Year Runner Up, John K. Morgan Scholarship winner, Rotary Senior Award – JROTC, Superintendent’s Academic Awards Scholar, Board Scholar.  
Activities:  Commanding Officer and Executive Officer for MC JROTC, Senior Class President, Junior Class Secretary, Peer Facilitator, Interact Club President, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), National Honor Society, Student Athletic Aide, Theatre Salem, Rockdale Youth Leadership, Homecoming Court.  
Favorite Subjects:  Physics and MC JROTC – “I grew up in a military household, my dad’s in the Army. I went in and fell in love with everything about it. I wanted to go to college first, so I decided to go to ROTC in college.”
Teachers/Persons of Note:  MSG. Robert E. Crenshaw, Maj. Aldric Blunt, Jenni Caruso, and Dr. Katherine Carey at RCA.
Family:  mother Amiee Whitley, father Kevin Whitley, oldest of 7 siblings.
Family reaction on hearing she was named Salutatorian: “(My mom) was happy. She cried.”
Advice for Freshmen:  “Try it all. I’d rather say I tried it all and I didn’t like it than I wonder what would have happened.”
Additional thoughts:  “I kinda flourished when I got to high school. I didn’t know what I was going to do or what I liked or what I was interested in. Freshman year, I just stuck my foot into everything, and it just happened from there.”   
“I’ve been blessed by the teachers I’ve had here.”


2019 RMSST Valedictorian Anthony Mays, Jr, left, and Salutatorian Huong Ho, right

Valedictorian Anthony Mays, II
College/University:  Stanford University.
Intended Major:   Management Science Engineering and Economics.
RCPS Schools Attended:  Memorial Middle, Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology.
Awards:  Lockheed Martin STEM Scholar, Georgia Merit Scholar, Governor’s Honors State Finalist Mathematics,
Activities:  Math Team, 21st Century Leaders Metro Region Representative,  Metro Atlanta Regional Commission Youth Leadership Council, Hands-On Atlanta Youth Leadership Action Council, Student Council Class Representative, National Honor Society, National Beta Club.
Favorite Subjects:  History of Math, Math in Industry and Government, Biology.  
Teachers/Persons of Note:  Dr. Charles Garner, Scott Robinson, Tyrone Huebsch, Arrington, Dean Poole, Wilson, Adam Raymond.
Family:  mother Demeka Mays; father Anthony Mays, I; older sister Chyna Mays (RMSST Class of 2017 Valedictorian)
Advice for Freshmen:  “To be themselves, and be the best you can be. Learn from your past experiences.”
Additional thoughts:  “Around 10th grade, I knew that I wanted to make my own path, not just do the same thing that my sister did.”
On hearing he was named Valedictorian: “I was asleep when my mom came in with the phone on speaker. I was happy.”

Salutatorian Huong Ho

College/University:   Georgia Tech.
Intended Major:  Industrial Engineering.
Intended Career Field:  Industrial Engineering.
RCPS Schools Attended:  D.L. Sims Elementary, Edwards Middle, Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology.
Awards:  International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) competitor, ISEF U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Award, College Board AP Scholar, QuestBridge National College Match Finalist, Georgia Merit Scholar, Georgia Science Engineering Fair presenter.
Activities:  Math Team Captain, Georgia FIRST Robotics Competition, Women on the Way to Success (WOWS) service club Co-Chair, Student Council, Georgia 21st Century Leaders Youth Leadership, Magnet Association of Student Activities (MASA).
Favorite Subjects:  History of Math, Math in Industry and Government.  
Teachers/Persons of Note:  Dr. Charles Garner, Dr. Debra Russell, Ms. Wilson, Ms. Powell, Ms.  Ms. Allen, Ms Wisnewski, Adam Raymond, Dean Poole, Michael McGuckin, Ms. Greene at Edwards Middle, and at Sims Elementary Mr. Randolf and Ms. Thompson and Ms. Edwards.
Family:  mother Heng Ho; father Tien Ho; older brother Bao Ho (HHS Class of 2015).
Advice for Freshmen:  “Enjoy what you’re doing. Don’t overthink it.”
Additional thoughts:  “I’m thankful for my teachers here. I’ve met some really great friends at Magnet.”


2019 RCHS Valedictorian Faith Campbell, left, and Salutatorian Victoria Edmands, right

Valedictorian Faith Campbell
College/University:  Savannah College of Art and Design.
Intended Major:  Sequential Art.
Intended Career Field:  Disney Animator or Webtoon comic writer or Marvel comic writer or music producer.
RCPS Schools Attended:  Hightower Trail Elementary, Conyers Middle, Rockdale County High School, Rockdale Career Academy.
Awards:  University of Georgia Merit Award, Superintendent’s Academic Awards Scholar,
Activities:  Beta Club, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Rosebud Baptist Fall Festival organizer.
Favorite Subjects:  Art.
Teachers/Persons of Note:  Allison Asberry – “For helping further push me into putting my heart and soul into my artwork and motivating me throughout my high school career. Without her, my life would be going down a different pathway.” Steven Roach – “For being the first teacher to make me want to learn and expand my mindset on life. You helped motivate and push me to do better because there was endless possibilities in life if you try hard enough for them.”  Trenetta Wilcox – “For making me laugh every day while you had me for two years in elementary school and for continuing to be involved in my life to this day.” My mother, Pamela Campbell – “My biggest influencer and motivator in my life. Without her, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, nor would I have the huge honor of being Valedictorian. She showed me that being the bigger person in any situation and by showing kindness to all makes you a stronger person.”
Family:  mother Pamela Campbell; father William Campbell; sibling Dalton Campbell.
Advice for Freshmen:  “To work hard; nothing in this life comes for free; and the more effort you put into what you do the more you will appreciate it. But more than anything else do what you love in this life, because if you don’t do something you love doing then you won’t love the life you are living. You only have one life, so make it count.”

Salutatorian Victoria Edmands

College/University:  University of Georgia.
Intended Major:   Environmental Engineering, with emphasis on plastic pollution and sustainability.
RCPS Schools Attended:  Hightower Trail Elementary, Conyers Middle, Rockdale County High and Rockdale Career Academy.
Awards:  Superintendent’s Academic Awards Scholar, Rotary STAR Student RCHS (top SAT score), Flint River Soil and Conservation District Scholarship, Snapping Shoals EMC J.E. Robinson Memorial Scholarship, UGA College of Engineering Scholarship.  
Activities:  Beta Club, food/supply drive organizer.
Favorite Subjects:  Theatre.
Teachers/Persons of Note:  Mike Ryan at RCA – “For always going the extra mile to get to know his students and making sure that everyone has the opportunity to excel.”
Family:  mother Miranda Mossman; stepfather Kevin Mossman; father David Edmands; stepmother Stephanie Brice; siblings Ashton Edmands and Will Edmands.
Advice for Freshmen:  “When deciding on your future, whether it be your college decision or career path, choose a path that seems out of your comfort zone. It may seem scary, but this path is going to provide the most growth.”


2019 HHS Valedictorian Maya Davis, left, and Salutatorian Sydney Gaylor, right

Valedictorian Maya Davis
College/University:  University of Georgia.
Intended Major:  Biology/Pre-Med.
Intended Career Field:  Pediatric Oncologist.
RCPS Schools Attended:  Lorraine Elementary,  Gen. Ray Davis Middle, Heritage High.
Awards:  Rotary Senior Award – Science, Superintendent’s Academic Award Scholar, Board Scholar, HHS Marching Band Drumline Ensemble Section Leader Award.
Activities:  Band Percussion, Model Arab League Political Committee, Rosetta Society, Teen Court, National Honor Society officer, Demuth Society (art history), National Honors Society Historian.
Favorite Subjects:  AP Capstone program.
Teachers/Persons of Note:  Samantha Swaney; older sisters; Sydney Gaylor, Jordan Ginn, Sophie Mosely.
Family:  mother Amayana Davis; father Gregory Davis; two older sisters (HHS Class of 2006, Class of 2011).
Advice for Freshmen:  “There’s going to be a time when you don’t think you can juggle your school work and extracurriculars;  everything's going to get really stressful all at once.  You just need to prioritize and sit down and write down what you need to do and figure out what you should do first and realize you can get it all done in time.”

Salutatorian Sydney Gaylor
College/University:  Georgia Tech.
Intended Career Field:  NASA or SpaceX/commercial space flight.  
RCPS Schools Attended:  Lorraine Elementary, Gen. Ray Davis Middle, Heritage High.
Awards:  Rotary STAR Student HHS (top SAT score), Rotary Senior Award – Math, Superintendent’s Academic Award Scholar, Board Scholar, Georgia Scholar, Kerr Cup, HHS Academy for Performing and Visual Arts top senior award, HHS Marching Band Drumline Cymbal Section Leader Award.
Activities:  Band Percussion, Model Arab League Political Committee, HHS newspaper assistant editor, Rosetta Society, Demuth Society (art history), Robotics Club FIRST LEGO league research, National Honors Society, Camp Juliette Lowe counselor, volunteer at the High Museum/Atlanta Symphony.
Favorite Subjects:  AP Capstone program.
Teachers/Persons of Note:  Samantha Swaney; older brother Ryan; Maya Davis, Jordan Ginn, Sophie Mosely.
Family:  mother Dawn Gaylor; Steve Gaylor; older brother Ryan Gaylor (HHS Class of 2017).
Advice for Freshmen:   “Make a to-do-list.  It’s important, if you find yourself feeling lost or not knowing what you want to do or just feeling overwhelmed, try to prioritize as best you can… today, if I only do one thing, I want to get this done. Or I want to talk to this one person I haven’t talked to in a while. Try to stay connected with the people who support you.” “Don’t only focus on school. Branch out a little bit.”

The two first became friends at Lorraine Elementary while doing a play together, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. “We’ve known each other for so long and we’ve always been so achievement driven and so close and competitive – but not in an unhealthy way,” said Sydney Gaylor.

On the first day of their first class in 9th grade at Heritage, Maya and Sydney sat next to each other in Ms. Samantha Swaney’s class and wrote a Freshman Letter as part of their class assignment. In their letters, Maya and Sydney described their goal of becoming  Valedictorian/Salutatorian.