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Rotary Club recognizes top 32 Newton seniors

Newton High’s top 11 seniors (not in order) are Kaitlyn Smith, Richelle St. Louis, Antonio Alvarez, Gloria Alafe, Ifeoma Egbulem, Brendan Brown, Jeffrey Fallah, Sierra Fleming, Kenquavius McCollum, Vitaliy Semenikhin and Kyana Morris; their favorite teachers Jacob Vuiller, Laurin Blanks, Kia James, Evern Williams, Karina Grewe, Millicent Drane, Jason Smith, George Miles, Irina Ebert and Paige Meakins. Newton High Principal John Ellenberg, NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey and Rotary Club of Covington’s President Brad Bettis honored the high-achieving students on Tuesday night at Eastside High. (Staff photo: Ryan McKenzie)

Newton High’s top 11 seniors (not in order) are Kaitlyn Smith, Richelle St. Louis, Antonio Alvarez, Gloria Alafe, Ifeoma Egbulem, Brendan Brown, Jeffrey Fallah, Sierra Fleming, Kenquavius McCollum, Vitaliy Semenikhin and Kyana Morris; their favorite teachers Jacob Vuiller, Laurin Blanks, Kia James, Evern Williams, Karina Grewe, Millicent Drane, Jason Smith, George Miles, Irina Ebert and Paige Meakins. Newton High Principal John Ellenberg, NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey and Rotary Club of Covington’s President Brad Bettis honored the high-achieving students on Tuesday night at Eastside High. (Staff photo: Ryan McKenzie)

COVINGTON – As their high school careers come to an end, the top-achieving seniors from three Newton schools were honored by the Rotary Club of Covington for their successes.

Thirty-two elite students — 11 from Alcovy High, 11 from Newton High and 10 from Eastside High — received recognition for their high grade point averages. The students also selected a favorite teacher to be recognized. Although the award is dubbed “Top Ten,” 11 students were chosen from both Alcovy and Newton High due to a tie among GPAs. Teachers, parents, Rotarians and NCSS staff members gathered at Eastside’s auditorium Tuesday evening to recognize the students.

“Tonight it’s a privilege and an honor to be here to participate in this celebration and recognition of academic excellence of our Newton County School Systems’ Top Ten who represent our three high schools,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey.

Since 1965, Covington’s Rotary Club has been acknowledging the top 10 seniors of each NCSS high school. The club’s president, Brad Bettis, stated that the awards are Rotary’s way of saying congratulations to each student and wishing them the best in their future endeavors.

These academically outstanding seniors have a wide variety of interests, in addition to post-secondary educational plans. Newton High’s Vitaliy Semenikhin, who was also named the school’s STAR student and is a state-level science fair winner, plans on attending Georgia Tech to study traveling beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

“I plan on majoring in aerospace engineering,” said Semenikhin. “Then eventually work in the industry, and then starting my own business or businesses—mainly in the space exploration industry and alternative energy.”

Kendra Smith of Alcovy High, who participated in the marching band and concert band throughout all four years of high school, plans to attend Georgia State University to pursue a degree in music and psychology, subsequently seeking a career in either the music production or psychology fields. Her bio states that she enjoys making music covers and reblogging.

Eastside’s Jasper Narvil spent three years volunteering at Zoo Atlanta and was a member of the Junior Classical League for all four years of high school. Although he does not know if his undergraduate major will be Latin or international affairs at UGA, he does intend to go to law school afterward. Narvil has a taste for traveling, as well as Tumblr and Netflix.

With their childhood journeys coming to a close, each student is preparing to enter the next chapter of his of her life. The top seniors from each Newton school are as follows:

Newton High School

  • Gloria Alafe
  • Antonio Alvarez
  • Brendan Brown
  • Ifeoma Egbulem
  • Jeffrey Fallah
  • Sierra Fleming
  • Kenquavius McCollum
  • Kyana Morris
  • Vitaliy Semenikhin
  • Kaitlyn Smith
  • Richelle St. Louis

Alcovy High School

  • Justin Adams
  • Morgan Beshars
  • Maya Brooks
  • Emily Bryans
  • Adam Johnson
  • Riley Koontz
  • Waneshia Morris
  • Lesley Ochei
  • Kendra Smith
  • Ashton Stewart
  • Victoria Wardlow

Eastside High School

  • Ashlyn Bartello
  • Benjamin Bohannon
  • Amanda Bolen
  • Marquez Harris
  • Taylor Heilesen
  • Quintin Murphy
  • Jasper Narvil
  • Samuel Stewart
  • Kimberly Stier
  • Kolyse Wagstaff