Salutatorian plans to help others

COVINGTON - Newton High School's 2009 salutatorian Geoff Nolan soon will be off to continue his life filled with helping others.

In the fall, Nolan will attend the University of Georgia to study cellular biology and Spanish.

"I want to go to med school and maybe into the Peace Corps in Latin America," said Nolan, 18, son of Todd and Beth Nolan. "I like Spanish a lot and the culture of Latin America, as well as helping people, so that will let me combine both of those."

He's already gained experience by participating in such volunteer organizations as Key Club, Beta Club, Student Government Association and Change Agents, as well as volunteering at the Heartland Hospice in Conyers.

Nolan may also minor in religion at UGA, where he's looking forward to working hard in the honors program and hopefully participating in study abroad.

"I've been really focused and goal-oriented in high school, so that's led to me making good grades," he said. "I'm looking forward to having a little more independence (at college) and being there with so many other people."

He said the NHS teachers, as well as new school Principal Roderick Sams, have helped to shape him into the student he is today.

"The teachers are definitely a big inspiration - the teachers at this school are amazing and so passionate about teaching," he said. "And Dr. Sams has been a blessing to the school; he's so passionate about it."

This summer, he hopes to take a senior trip to San Antonio, Texas, and also will be a counselor at a creative kids camp at Oxford College and at a camp in Rutledge for those with sickle cell.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.