May 16-- The two top graduates in the Class of 2019 at Robert Toombs Christian Academy in Lyons are Valedictorian Sarah Tuck and Salutatorian Cody Masterman-Smith.
Sarah says it was a close race, "These past nine or so years it's been back and forth between me and Cody. At Christmas they told us we were a thousandth of a point apart, so we had no clue who was going to get it," and for her, graduation is an emotional time, "It's going to be different because I've been here for 15 years. I was actually in the first K-3 class and so yesterday, when I was sitting in my history class for the last time, I just started crying because I looked up at my friends and they were all going to be gone and I was never going to have another class with them."
Sarah will be starting at the University of Georgia in the Fall, "I'm ready to start something new, but it's definitely going to be a change from spending 15 years in a school of 300 people to a school of 25,000 to 30,000 people." Her parents are Lori and Scott Tuck.
Salutatorian Cody Masterman-Smith's family moved to the area when he was a third-grader, "I really think that moving here and especially going to Robert Toombs shaped who I've become because of the Christian environment and the focus on interdisciplinary learning. Moving here from Florida, I was really nervous because I had no friends and we had no family here, but the class just really took me in, we've grown up together and I consider them my family," and he's honored to be Salutatorian, "I really consider it an honor because all through high school I've focused on learning and doing my best."
Cody's next stop is Georgia Tech in Atlanta. His parents are Stephen and Caryn Masterman-Smith.
RTCA's graduation ceremony is Saturday morning at ten o'clock at Southeastern Technical College in Vidalia.
Honor graduates from the Class of 2019 are Sarah Tuck, Cody Masterman-Smith, Roya Adkins, Makenzie Harper, Hannah Herndon, Hannah Keene, Jacob McMillan, Shane Moore, Mary Hayes Palmer, Jarod Robertson, Kara Sanders, Claire Walden, and Baylee Williamson.
Various Scholarships were awarded to RTCA Seniors. Senior Sensier Carnes received the Coca-Cola. The Stewart Family Scholarship went to Senior Shelby Thomas and the Red Cross Scholarship was awarded to Jacob McMillan. Jarod Robertson was awarded the Ned Shuman Scholarship and the Lamar Bobbitt Scholarship. The Vidalia Kiwanis Club awarded the R.E. Ledford Scholarship to Makenzie Harper and the Vidalia Kiwanis Club Family Scholarship to Hannah Keene. Winner of the Miss Vidalia Onion pageant, Senior Hannah Herndon, was also awarded a scholarship.
Senior Beta Club members were corded by advisor Mrs. Leigh Ann Walden. The Beta Members are: Freshman Ellie Graham, Bailey Holland, Marli McCranie, Jackson Newton, Rileigh Robinson, Madison Williams, sophomores Campbell Adams, Nelson Thigpen, and juniors Clarissa Ledford, and Maria Riera-Soriano.
Those inducted into the National Honor Society are: sophomores Campbell Adams, Carleigh DeFee, Carolina Mead, Kaine Parham, Kaitlyn Reaves, Jadon Robertson, Nelson Thigpen, juniors Samantha Threlkeld, Analise Williams, Maria Riera, seniors Roya Adkins, Jacob McMillan, Shane Moore, Jarod Robertson, Claire Walden, and Baylee Williamson.
Special recognitions were given to junior Hunter Brotman who was selected as a 2019 Washington Youth Tour Delegate. Students who completed over 50 hours of community service work are freshman Karson Evans, sophomore Campbell Adams, junior Fernando Zayas, and senior Roya Adkins. Freshman Karson Evan, sophomore Campbell Adams, junior Maria Riera, and senior Kara Sanders were awarded the Great Christian Leadership Award. RTCA Scholar Athletes of the Year are seniors Sarah Tuck and Cody Masterman-Smith. RTCA Athletes of the Year are seniors Kayla Blackshear and Blaine Miller. Christian Athletes of the year for RTCA are senior Baylee Williamson and junior Fernando Zayas.
RTCA provides Dual Enrollment courses for eligible students that wish to take college level coursework for credit towards both high school and college graduation requirements. Dual Enrollment students are: sophomores Hunter Coley, Anna Cuevas-Cortez, Carleigh DeFee, Steven McDonald, Carolina Mead, Robert Moore, Kaine Parham, Kaitlyn Reaves, Ashton Sowell, Nelson Thigpen, Ridge Vause, Hayden Wiggins, juniors Landon Botelho, Hunter Brotman, Kaitlyn Corner, Riley Corner, Latson Ennis, Christa Fields, TJ Jackson, Cade Jones, Madi Moncus, Sam NeSmith, Payton Phillips, Ella Stanley, Samantha Threlkeld, Analise Williams, Fernando Zayas, seniors Roya Adkins, Robert Brown, Makenzie Harper, Hannah Herndon, Hannah Keene, Jacob McMillan, Shane Moore, Payton Nance, Mary Hayes Palmer, Anna Stanley, Lanna Todd, Claire Walden, and Baylee Williamson.
This year’s Honor Roll students included freshmen Morgan Newsome, Rileigh Robinson, sophomore Anna Cuevas-Ortes, juniors TJ Jackson, Latson Ennis, Sam Nesmith, Maria Riera-Soriano, Ella Stanley, seniors Hannah Herndon, and Lanna Todd. Students who made Yearly Headmaster’s List were freshmen Ellie Graham, Bailey Holland, Marli McCranie, Jackson Newton, Madison Williams, sophomores Campbell Adams, Carleigh DeFee, Kaitlyn Reaves, Nelson Thigpen, Kaine Parham, juniors Landon Botelho, Hunter Brotman, Kaitlyn Corner, Riley Corner, Clarissa Ledford, MiKayla Manning, Samantha Threlkeld, Analise Williams, Fernando Zayas, seniors Roya Adkins, Makenzie Harper, Hannah Keene, Cody Masterman-Smith, Jacob McMillan, Shane Moore, Mary Hayes Palmer, Jarod Robertson, Shelby Thomas, Sarah Tuck, Claire Walden, and Baylee Williamson.
Teachers awarded students with Subject Awards in Literature, Spanish, Art, Math, History, and Science. Literature awards were given to freshmen Ellie Graham, Morgan Newsome, sophomores Katie McDuffie, Kaine Parham, juniors MiKayla Manning, Fernando Zayas, seniors Kayla Blackshear, Cody Masterman-Smith and Sarah Tuck. Spanish awards were accepted by sophomore Kaitlyn Reaves and junior Fernando Zayas. Art awards were given to sophomore Megan McCoy and junior Ella Stanley. Math awards were accepted by freshmen Morgan Newsome, Jackson Newton, sophomores Carleigh DeFee, Katie McDuffie, juniors Riley Corner, MiKayla Manning, seniors Makenzie Harper, Shane Moore, and Shelby Thomas. History awards were given to freshman Ellie Graham, sophomores Kaitlyn Reaves, Jadon Robertson, juniors Hunter Brotman, Tylan Hardy, seniors Jarod Robertson and Sarah Tuck. Science awards were awarded to freshmen Ellie Graham, Morgan Newsome, sophomores Carleigh DeFee, Ashton Scott, junior MiKayla Manning, seniors Makenzie Harper, Sarah Tuck, and Claire Walden.
Overall Academic Average Awards were given to high school students who received the highest and second highest overall averages. Freshman Ellie Graham received the highest overall and Jackson Newton received second highest overall averages. Sophomores Kaitlyn Reaves received highest overall and Carleigh DeFee received second highest overall average. Riley Corner received the highest overall and Fernando Zayas received the second highest overall for the junior class. For the seniors, Sarah Tuck received the highest overall average and Cody Masterman-Smith received the second highest overall average.
The Upper School Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Mary Ann Kimmons. “The quote “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” sums up why I love working at RTCA. Having the opportunity to work with students for several years, academically and athletically, allows me the opportunity to create meaningful relationships with them even after they graduate. In addition, knowing the character, dedication and ability of all the other high school teachers makes being awarded this honor doubly meaningful,” states Mrs. Kimmons, middle and high school science teacher. Mrs. Kimmons has been taught 6 years in the public school system and has been teaching at RTCA for 13 years.
Landon Botelho, Riley Corner, TJ Jackson, and Fernando Zayas were recognized as Junior Marshalls.
RTCA recognized our Committed Crusaders, Roya Adkins, Shane Moore, Kara Sanders, Shelby Thomas, Sarah Tuck, Claire Walden, Baylee Williamson, and Zaylen Wiggins. These seniors have attended RTCA since kindergarten.