Fulton County Schools recently named Star Seniors of the district.
Star Seniors include exemplary students who are academically advanced as well as those who have succeeded in various ways.
Alpharetta High School’s Jalon Kimes may have experienced some significant obstacles in his life, but he has managed to persevere by taking a rigorous course load “with a stellar attitude and resilience,” according to his guidance counselor Amy Longstreth.
With a resume of nine AP courses and an A average, Kimes is headed to Brandeis University in Boston on the Posse Scholarship: a four-year, full tuition leadership award.
“Everyone comes from different circumstances,” he said. “Despite all the things that would hinder me, I think I was able to achieve more than what was expected of me. I just had to focus, do better for myself so I could do better for my family.”
After three years on the Alpharetta fencing team, Kimes placed in the top 80 in the high school fencing league. A fan of robotics, he is passionate about 3D modeling and animation.
A member of Future Business Leaders of America, his goal is to achieve financial independence through investing and business entrepreneurship to ensure support for his family.
Cambridge High School’s Jackson Wakefield stretched himself to make positive changes in the world as well as broaden his own horizons. His counselor Allyson Carvell describes him as being “curious about life, open-minded, kind and generous.”
Starting his day at 4:45 a.m., Wakefield keeps busy with a demanding schedule. “If there’s something worth doing, you can always make time for it,” he said.
By attending a local mosque, Wakefield has built relationships with the congregation’s leaders to better understand their challenges. Twice he has traveled to Guatemala to work at a school and orphanage where he’s mentored young children. At Cambridge, he has mentored freshmen as they adjust to high school and participated in the Junior Classical League all four years.
Wakefield is a triathlete, qualifying for the 2016 USAT Triathlon as well as a devoted CrossFit member who runs an occasional half marathon. With plans to attend UGA, Jackson is considering a possible career in medicine.
Centennial High School’s Alexis Seith conducted research with AP biology teacher Bob Kuhn on viruses in wasp reproduction. As a dual enrollment student who split her time between three campuses including Georgia State University and Georgia Tech, she learned to balance her interests with her studies early on.
“I’m motivated by pressure,” she said.
Having transferred from another district in ninth grade, Seith had already taken some AP classes which jumpstarted her Fulton County high school career. But she also wanted to fit in and make new friends, so she founded a club called the Students Serving Veterans. Fortunately, it also doubled as a Girl Scouts Gold project she needed to complete. Through recruiting members to help donate items to the Veterans Empowerment Organization, she not only secured a new club charter and sponsorship but also built relationships and gave back to her local community in a meaningful way.
“I really want to make this world a better place,” she said.
Ultimately her passion for neuroscience drove her plan to take psychology at Georgia Tech.
“I predict a bright future for Alexis,” said Kuhn.
“She exhibits a rare combination of empathy, self-awareness, intelligence and expression. She is always questioning and finding, something I noticed in her immediately.”
Chattahoochee High School’s Vibha Murthy is the school’s first student to complete her Associate’s degree as she graduates from high school. Vibha is dual enrolled at Georgia State University-Perimeter College and has earned straight A’s every semester.
In addition to her college-level math and chemistry classes, she tutors fellow students.
“I took advantage of the opportunities I’d been given,” Murthy said. “Find your passion and do it your own way.”
Counselor Deborah Blount describes Murthy as “wise beyond her years” having the foresight to plot out this complicated path.
Murthy’s passion for research will play into her pursuit of a career in medicine or healthcare. Through the AP Capstone program available at Chattahoochee, Murthy conducted a psychological research study that examined the relationship between personality type and short-term memory which she hopes to expand in college.
Independence High School’s Rachel Knowles is a hard worker who has struggled to overcome personal challenges and has come out on the other side. Having transitioned from a traditional Fulton County high school to Independence, a choice alternative learning environment that meets students’ unique needs at critical points in their lives, Knowles found her place.
Her counselor Jackie Jones bragged about her hard work and what her success brought her.
“Rachel has become a role model not only as a student but as a person. She’s not afraid of a challenge but rises to the occasion, and that helps motivate others.”
Environmental science teacher Debbie Dean concurred, saying, “Rachel is a force to reckon with; she seeks positive outcomes.”
Knowles is an advocate for other students. Her message is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. By the end of high school, she was president of the service club Interact, a Rotary-sponsored club.
She hopes to attend either Kennesaw State University or Georgia State University and continue service work.
Milton High School’s Rylyn Monahan has made a big impact on her community since ninth grade. She was ambitious early on, from assuming leadership positions in the French and English National Honors Society to serving as coeditor-in-chief for the literary magazine to making the varsity volleyball team as a sophomore.
Additionally, she traveled on a school-sponsored trip to Italy and to France as an exchange student. Last summer, she attended the Governors Honors program for French.
“My parents taught me that academics always come first. Clubs and activities are an outlet for me to express myself, so I’ve always been able to manage academics knowing I could have extra fun that the clubs provide,” Monahan said.
Her proudest moment was developing International Night, an eye-opening experience where she learned “where everybody came from,” by listening to their stories.
Monahan will attend Carlton College, a small liberal arts institution in Minnesota.
DJEFLEY “JEFFERY” LUBIN
Roswell High School’s Djefley “Jeffery” Lubin came to the U.S. from Haiti with his father and sister when he was just 3 years old.
Academically, he had a rough freshman year but made a complete transformation. Learning early in football season that lower grades render a player ineligible for team participation, Lubin, a cornerback, resolved to make the necessary changes.
Not only did he succeed but he got a “Pick 6” in his first game back, which sealed the deal.
Today, he is known for his dependability, humility and perseverance.
His counselor Lauren Butler sings his praises.
“Jeffery is a student athlete who truly embodies a student who strives for excellence,” she said.
Lubin loves U.S. history and is fascinated to learn what happened in the past and how it can affect the future. He also enjoys wrestling, rugby and theatre.
Lubin signed to play football at Anna Maria College in Massachusetts and hopes to study criminal psychology.