COVINGTON - This month, Newton High School's 2009 Valedictorian Sarah Lanners is reflecting on her time spent in school and looking forward to the next step in her life.
She said often NHS is viewed as the oldest or "lowest" school, but she feels differently.
"We're always looked at as the underdogs, so we work harder to support our school and develop pride," said Lanners, 17, daughter of Jay and Buncie Lanners. "We all make up the school and help make it awesome."
The recent addition of Principal Roderick Sams also has helped develop more pride for the school.
"He's developed a relationship with every student," she said, adding that he's also incorporated many changes and made several trips and events possible for students.
Although she said she'll miss her friends and the "high school experience," she's looking forward to heading to Davidson College in North Carolina in the fall.
Lanners is carrying on the family tradition of excellence. Not only was her mother valedictorian at Newton County High 30 years ago, her brother, Jay Lanners, was given the honor just two years ago. Also, both her mother and her brother attended Davidson College.
"I like being able to rely on my parents, but at the same time, I want my independence, so I'm ready for college," she said.
She might study religion at Davidson.
"Religion impacts the world and world affairs," she said. "It's so important and has so much impact on history."
Lanners knows she will have to work hard in college and plans to use the skills she learned in high school to help accomplish her goals.
"I've always wanted perfection," said Lanners, who's also involved in ballet, Key Club, Beta Club, Student Body co-president and Change Agents service group. "I always do my homework and study as much as I need to."
Before she heads off to college, she plans to teach ballet at local summer camps.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.