Staff Photo: Erin Evans. Alcovy High School selected its valedictorian as Tara Bishop, left, and its salutatorian as Heather Steckenrider. Both will attend the University of Georgia in the fall.
COVINGTON -- Alcovy High School seniors Tara Bishop and Heather Steckenrider have a lot in common.
They've participated in competition cheerleading at Alcovy, they've been in some of the same clubs and they are both going to the University of Georgia in the fall.
The students plan to room together while living in Athens and probably enjoy a few football games together at Sanford Stadium.
In addition to both being presented with the One UGA scholarship, they also are the top graduating students for the class of 2011 at Alcovy High School -- Bishop is the valedictorian and Steckenrider is the salutatorian.
Eighteen-year old Bishop wants to be in school for a long time. While at UGA, she plans to study education.
"The influence my teachers have had on my life has made me want to have the same opportunity to do that to someone else," said Bishop, daughter of Charles Bishop and Samara Spitzner of Covington.
She especially remembers her elementary school teacher Mary Horton at Heard-Mixon and Scott Raines, a math teacher at Alcovy High.
"They've truly cared about me and helped me achieve my goals," Bishop said. "It inspired me."
She still hasn't figured out what grade level she would want to teach after finishing her degree, but she hopes to teach other students how to succeed in school.
"I'm a really hard worker and dedicated to school work," she said. "I've had a lot of late nights."
In addition to the One UGA scholarship, she also received the Chase Cain Scholarship.
While at Alcovy, she was on the math team and the student council and in the Anchor Club.
Like Bishop, 18-year-old Steckenrider is looking forward to being on her own and enjoying life in Athens at UGA.
"I like the environment of it," she said. "I'm looking forward to meeting new people."
But she knows it won't all be fun and games -- she will be in the honors program at UGA while she is studying biology.
She plans to be pre-med so she can eventually become an anesthesiologist.
"I knew I wanted to go in the medical field but without all of the blood," said Steckenrider, daughter of Michael and Shelly Hunter of Covington.
While in the rigorous program at UGA, she knows she will have to keep studying and doing her homework every night, as she's done throughout her school years.
In addition to the one UGA scholarship, she was named Alcovy's STAR student for scoring an 1,880 on her SAT. She earned a 31 on her ACT.
She was on the prom committee and the student council and also was in the Anchor Club.