Staff Photo: Michelle Floyd. Newton High School named its 2010 valedictorian Brooke Wilson, right, and salutatorian Janae Jackson. They both plan to attend the University of Georgia in the fall, Wilson to possibly study biochemistry and Jackson to study business and psychology.
COVINGTON -- The two top seniors at Newton High School have a lot in common -- not only do they aspire to do their best in school and take rigorous courses in which they earn high grades, they also plan to attend the same university in the fall.
Valedictorian Brooke Wilson and salutatorian Janae Jackson both plan to attend the University of Georgia in Athens after graduating with their fellow classmates this month.
They both said it was one of the best schools in Georgia and they are looking forward to seeing some of their fellow graduates in class, along with the many new classmates they hope to meet.
Eighteen-year-old Brooke Wilson wasn't expecting to earn the top spot at Newton High School this year.
"I was surprised," said Wilson, daughter of Wayne and Pamela Wilson of Oxford. "It was never my goal. I've just always tried hard and worked hard for college. I've always kept college in mind."
While in high school, she has taken Advanced Placement courses and participated in the Beta Club since 10th grade, serving as secretary for two years and president this year.
"Whatever is necessary, I do it," she said. "I don't procrastinate."
While in high school, she's served on the senior committee and been in the French club and writing club. She also was chosen as her school's STAR student, Student of Merit and as a finalist for Governor's Honors in Social Studies her junior year. She has participated in high school science fairs -- in 10th grade she won for her school and participated in the state fair, and in 11th grade she placed second.
This summer, she plans to prepare to attend UGA, where she might study biochemistry for a career in pharmacology.
"I'm excited," she said.
Seventeen-year-old Janae Jackson is pleased she achieved her goal -- and her mom's goal for her -- this year.
"I wouldn't say I was surprised, but it was nerve-wracking," she said about her aspiration for a top spot at Newton High. "I wanted it -- I think my mother (Tanya Jackson) wanted it more -- so I always strived toward it."
Jackson said she's always tried to keep her grades up -- earning all As throughout high school, which required a lot of dedication and sacrifice.
"I just started going out with friends," said Jackson. "I sacrificed a lot of social life to stay at home to study."
Her memory doesn't hurt either.
"I think I have a good memory, and I just go over it in my head," she said. "I don't use note cards or group study. I just have a good short-term memory."
Jackson said she is looking forward to summer, when she can finally take a small break.
"I am going to relax," said Jackson, who has taken a couple of AP classes and dual enrollment classes at Georgia Perimeter College. "I was going to take college classes, but I decided not to. I am going to take the summer off because I know it's going to be a crazy ride."
She also is looking forward to attending orientation at UGA this summer, when she hopes to meet some new faces. In the fall, she plans to study business and psychology at UGA.