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Eastside High picks top two students

Staff Photo: Michelle Floyd. Eastside High School named Katelyn Yeomans its 2010 valedictorian and Naomi Wills its salutatorian. Yeomans plans to attend Georgia Southern University to study math, and Wills will attend Harvard University for classics and linguistics.

Staff Photo: Michelle Floyd. Eastside High School named Katelyn Yeomans its 2010 valedictorian and Naomi Wills its salutatorian. Yeomans plans to attend Georgia Southern University to study math, and Wills will attend Harvard University for classics and linguistics.

COVINGTON -- The two top seniors at Eastside High School are getting ready for big moves over the summer.

The school's valedictorian Katelyn Yeomans is moving to Georgia Southern University to study math, while salutatorian Naomi Wills is relocating to the northeast to study classics and linguistics at Harvard University.

Katelyn Yeomans

Seventeen-year-old Katelyn Yeomans didn't start thinking about being one of the top graduating seniors until she was halfway finished with high school.

She said she found out her class rank in 10th grade and ever since then has tried to stay at the top, even while taking Advanced Placement courses and other rigorous classes.

"I like classes that can challenge me," said Yeomans, daughter of Kevin and Krista Yeomans of Covington. "It's more fun when you have to think about it."

After high school graduation, she plans to attend Georgia Southern University on scholarship to study math.

"It's my favorite subject," she said. "It's natural for me. I'm a really logical thinker."

It also runs in her family -- her dad was a math professor at Oxford College of Emory University and now is the department head at Georgia Perimeter College's Newton Campus.

"I get it from him," she said, adding that she, too, hopes to one day teach the subject at the high school and college levels. "He really enjoys it. I think it's something I will like."

While in high school, she has been involved in the school yearbook, color guard, art club and on the Rocket team, which creates rockets to compete nationally. Her favorite teacher is Coach Michael Poor, who taught her math.

Naomi Wills

Although most people in 18-year-old Naomi Wills' shoes would have been stressed out this year, she's not.

This school year, she has been waiting to hear back from Harvard University regarding her application, and she's also been wondering if she will earn a top spot in her graduating class.

"I'm pretty laid back about things," said Wills, daughter of Gene and Kathy Wills of Covington. "I've seen people who are more excited than me."

She said she chose to attend Harvard because of its academic programs. She plans to study classics and linguistics while on a scholarship.

"I want to be a linguist or a translator, maybe work for the CIA as a spy or something," she said. "I like language, and it's always been my best subject. I like learning about different cultures."

Taking advanced placement classes also helped her stay ahead.

"I try to take every single AP course possible. I've taken almost all of them," she said. "I'm interested in learning and wanting to know, not just being there and having to know."

While at Eastside, she has been involved in the Junior Classical League, Beta Club, volleyball and the mock trial team. She also attended the Governor's Honors Program in communicative arts.