Graduation: The Class of 2007

Tue, 05/22/2007 - 3:06pm
By: Emily Baldwin

Top performers; valedictorians, salutatorians

Vals and Sals Class of 2007

This Friday night, May 25, will mark the graduations for the Class of 2007. Over 1,800 students from area schools will don their caps and gowns, smile for cameras and stride across the stage to receive their diplomas. This year also celebrates the first graduating class from Whitewater High School, Fayette County’s newest high school. Fayette County, Sandy Creek and Starr’s Mill high schools will hold their graduation ceremonies at 6 p.m., while McIntosh and Whitewater will hold their ceremonies at 8 p.m. If there is rain, the ceremonies will be held the following morning at 10 a.m.

Fayette County High School, 289 graduates

Vals and Sals, Fayette County High

The valedictorian for Fayette County High School’s Class of 2007 is Stefan Coburn and the position of salutatorian is shared by Hilary Octavia Rogers and David Anthony Zitelli. Coburn, son of Kevin and Lisa Coburn, has a 4.0 GPA and will be attending either Georgia Tech or Brigham Young University with plans on majoring in chemistry. A Boy Scout who has earned Eagle rank, Coburn has also been a member of the school’s cross country and swim teams, math team, and his church’s youth group. Coburn represented Georgia at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque, NM earlier this month.

Rogers, the daughter of Yolanda Rogers, will graduate with a 4.024 GPA and will attend Georgia College and State University with the intention of majoring in math. She has been a member of the school’s marching band as a majorette for four years (a captain for three), has volunteered in her community with the Joseph Sams School in Fayetteville, the Kool Kidz Foundation, and the local hospital. She notes that what she will miss most about high school is “all of the great teachers at FCHS.”
Zitelli is the son of Ted and Cathy Zitelli. He will graduate with a 4.0 GPA.

Zitelli, who has received two U.S. Service appointments- Air Force and Navy- will attend the United States Air Force Academy with plans of majoring in aeronautical engineering. He participated on the track and cross country (as captain) teams, was part of the Wind Ensemble, All State Band in 2006, District Honor Band, Beta Club, National Honor Society, his church choir and is an Eagle rank Boy Scout. Zitelli’s greatest memory from high school was when the cross country team won region in his junior year. “[It] was truly memorable. Our team bonded well and committed ourselves to this goal from the beginning...and we succeeded.”

McIntosh High School, 359 graduates

Vals and Sals, McIntosh

The valedictorian for McIntosh High School’s Class of 2007 is Craig Western and the salutatorian is Jessica Everage. Western, son of Vern and Phyllis Western, will graduate with a 4.0 unweighted GPA and a 4.19 AP weighted GPA. He will attend the University of Southern California and plans to major in engineering. Western has been awarded the University of Southern California’s Trustee Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship with full tuition, and a $1,000 Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship. While at McIntosh, he was a member of the varsity coss country and varsity track teams, the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Principal’s Advisory Committee, participated in Fayette County Relay For Life, volunteered for Red Carpet Day (an annual retreat for teenage cancer patients), was a member of Peachtree City United Methodist Church, participated in Peachtree City recreational basketball, was a volunteer mentor and enjoyed salsa dancing, water skiing and wakeboarding. He says he will miss the the close friendships he has developed in his years at McIntosh.

Everage is the daughter of Terri Jo and Bill Everage and will graduate with a 4.0 GPA. She will attend Notre Dame and plans to major in biochemistry/pre-med. Everage was a member of the cross country team, Beta Club, Key Club, and National Honor Society, was an equestrienne and held a job at Mellow Mushroom in Peachtree City. Her favorite teacher is her math teacher Diane Freeman, who she says supports her students. Her favorite high school memories are spring breaks with friends and winning state for cross country her junior year. Everage will be part of the Glynn Family Honors Program at Notre Dame, which is made up of 100 students from each class.

Sandy Creek High School, 323 graduates

Vals and Sals, Sandy Creek

The valedictorian for Sandy Creek’s Class of 2007 is Ashley Marie Ellis, while the salutatorian is Maureen Flaherty. Ellis, daughter of Duane and Marilyn Ellis, has a 4.29 GPA and will attend Emory University with plans on double majoring in mathematics and political science. She has been awarded an Air Force ROTC Commander’s Leadership Scholarship which pays full tuition, book allowance and a monthly stipend. She has been a member of the math team, academic bowl team, French Club, Spanish Club, French and Spanish honor societies, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, the volleyball team for three years, is a member of the Methodist Youth Fellowship, plays piano, practices karate and worked both at Burrito Brothers and as a tutor.

Flaherty is the daughter of Daniel and Adriene Flaherty. She graduates with a 4.095 GPA and will attend the University of Georgia with plans to major in public relations. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and select mixed chorus. Her favorite memory from high school was traveling to Orlando, Fla. with the select mixed chorus for a choral festival during her junior year. She says what she will miss about high school are her friends and many of her teachers.

Starr’s Mill High School, 371 graduates

Vals and Sals, Starr's Mill

The valedictorian for Starr’s Mill High School’s Class of 2007 is Anne Staigle and the salutatorian is Amanda Statham. Staigle, daughter of Tom and Jennifer Staigle, will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and will attend Mercer with plans to major in biology/pre-med. Staigle has taken dance classes since she was eight years old, with a concentration in ballet but also in modern and African. She is involved at Peachtree City United Methodist Church where she serves on the Student Leadership Team for Crosswalk Student Ministries. At school, she is a member of the Beta Club, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and was president of HOSA. She says her favorite teacher was Dan Gant and that “the atmosphere of his classroom was refreshing.” She will miss the community and sense of comfort at her high school.

Statham is the daughter of Mickey and Jerri Statham. She will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and will attend the University of Georgia and will major in broadcast journalism. She is a National Merit Finalist. While in high school she was a member of the Beta Club where she served as secretary, National Honor Society, participant in multiple drama productions, school musicals and the Miss Starr’s Mill scholarship pageant. Her favorite high school memory was participating in the school musical “Li’l Abner” her freshman year.

Whitewater High School, 433 graduates

Vals and Sals, Whitewater

The valedictorian for Whitewater High School’s Class of 2007 is Lauren Elyse Powers and the salutatorian is Riley Sisson. Powers, daughter of John and Sandy Powers, will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and will attend Duke University with intentions of majoring in molecular biology/pre-med. She has received a Better Business Bureau scholarship and is waiting on final decisions on other scholarships. Her extra curricular activities included WHS Ambassadors, academic team (captain), Beta Club (president), National Honor Society, Spanish Club, National Spanish Honor Society, Color Guard, Wind Ensemble and was the founder and president of the walking club. Powers plans to attend medical school and become a neonatologist.

Sisson is the son of Margaret and Fred Sisson, and will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and will either attend Rhodes College of Davidson College. He was a member of the football and lacrosse teams, the Wind Ensemble, he was also a drummer in a rock band, participated in a jazz band and his church’s youth group. He says Cathy Nix is his favorite teacher “because she dedicates her life to educating.”

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