Senior Spotlights

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“Being in both of those classes [chorus and drama] really helped me come out of my shell,” says senior, Tori Tindall. Throughout her years at Statesboro High, Tindall has been involved in a variety of performances.

After high school Tindall has been offered a trip to Ireland for two months in the fall, and she plans to take the offer—after her trip she will attend The University of Florida. Even though theater has been a big part of her life, she doesn’t plan on taking a formal drama class, however she will remain involved in that world.

Being a part of the drama and musical theater classes have given Tindall the people skills she didn’t have before, which will help her in the future. Tindall used to be afraid to be in front of people and to talk to them, but with the help of being in drama she isn’t afraid anymore.

“Middle school was a tough time for everybody, we know that, but I was like a hermit. It’s hard to tell now, but I used to be terrified to talk to people. Being around people that weren’t afraid to come up to you…it was terrifying. It really gave me the courage I needed to go after things I wanted,” Tindall said.

As advice for rising seniors Tindall says, “Just go for it!”

Throughout her four years of high school her favorite memory was during her first week here as a freshman. It was close to Halloween and the students were allowed to wear their costumes to school. Tindall came from a uniform school, so she didn’t know they were allowed to wear costumes.

“I walked into this non-uniform school and I see people wearing like, spider-man outfits, and bunny costumes, and I was so confused,” Tindall said.

“I think I’m going to miss the people because I got to watch everyone kind of grow up, and we grew up together. Even though I haven’t been here that long I feel like we’re that family that’s stuck together—we have to like each other at times, but I think when we leave it’s going to suck.”

 

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Anji Li is the model valedictorian, her impressive academic résumé and extracurricular accompaniments containing all the earmarks of high school excellence. Having taken a multitude of classes as a dual-enrolled and AP student, having expanded her own interests through the art program at Statesboro High, and having tailored her academic experience to her passions rather than for requirement, Anji Li represents the hard working qualities signified by the title of valedictorian.

Throughout high school, Li has taken advantage of every opportunity for academic challenge, taking and excelling in every AP class offered at SHS. She has expanded her academic compass by taking classes at Georgia Southern University such as psychology, physics, and Calculus I and II.

Regardless of her exemplary academic standing, Li says her study methods are fairly simple. She communicated her simple note-taking procedures without pretension or self-acclaim.

Li said, “I’ve just been doing the same stuff I usually do, you know, taking basic notes, studying … I didn’t really do anything special.”

She also credits the rewarding characteristics of AP and dual-enrolled classes to her educational experience in high school.

Li’s image should not be reduced to merely an academic enthusiast, however.

“I spend a lot of my time doing crafts at home,” Li said. “I like doing 3-D things: clay, paper maché, jewelry, folding books. I’m really passionate about that.”

Li cited SHS art teacher Mr. Bunyan Morris for encouraging her to try different forms of art. She said with a laugh that she plays games and has fun, despite popular opinion.

Li plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology this fall, where she is interested in pursuing engineering in some form. She shared her advice for SHS students preparing to make their mark in college as well as high school.

“Just go with the flow, do what’s expected of you, be responsible,” Li said. “I know that sounds cliché, but that’s really all you need to do.”

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With a permanent wry grin, a tall stature, and a penchant for one-liners, Alex DiCesare is by far the least stressed academically accomplished senior walking the halls of Statesboro High. His recognition as SHS’s prized STAR Student makes him shine, but that is only a fraction of his admirable achievements.

The time-honored accolade of STAR Student has been represented over the years with a multitude of personalities, and the witty, carefree DiCesare will undoubtedly add charm to the annals of Statesboro High’s STARs. The STAR recognition is awarded to the high school senior with the highest SAT score achieved in one sitting. DiCesare’s impressive 2280 not only qualified him for the recognition on the school level, but also the school system level. He had the opportunity on April 27, 2015, to compete at the state STAR banquet in pursuit of the highest tier of recognition with some of the most accomplished high school seniors in the state.

DiCesare’s advice to SHS students for SAT preparation consisted of taking a sufficient number of practice tests in order to “get acquainted with the test … if you want to improve [your score], you can take more.”

Besides his outstanding performance on a single assessment like the SAT, DiCesare has shone through other informal evaluations of student excellence, such as involvement in school teams and activities. DiCesare is not one to hide his accomplishments, and it is likely that the entirety of SHS’s student body is aware of his participation and excellence on the school swim team, tennis team, Model United Nations, National Honor Society, and Math Team.

“I participated in a lot of activities while taking hard classes and that helped me learn how to manage my time effectively. Model UN helped me become a better writer and also helped me learn how to work well in a group,” DiCesare said.

Along with an academic profile that demonstrates him as a star of several qualifying merits, DiCesare’s future goals are also indicative of his capacity to achieve. He will be attending Vanderbilt University this fall. He intends to major in economics and mathematics and hopes to pursue a career either in law or in the sphere of business and finance.

“Colleges like to see that you’re challenging yourself and not just taking easy classes to get by,” DiCesare said. “Because of my dual-enrollment and AP classes, I’ll be able to double major [in college] while still taking a manageable course load each semester.”

DiCesare will be leaving behind a multitude of positions at SHS. Given the power to consign one of these positions to a rising senior, DiCesare said, “I leave my spot as the fastest swimmer [on the swim team] to Micah [Kartchner].”

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She spends more time thinking about the origins of her morality than about the humdrum of high school life. If she were asked to choose two people to have dinner with, she would choose the renowned, disciplined Neil deGrasse Tyson and the eccentric 20th-century mathematician Paul Erdős. Her subdued existence in high school, a common sight of which includes sporting a gas mask while ambling around the fine arts hallway, is supplanted by the enormity of her achievements, including receiving an admission into Cornell University and being a finalist for Syracuse University’s elite Coronat Scholarship. If you weren’t able to guess who it is, you probably would if her description included her artsy flair and her red hair: D’Asia Lipsey.

Affixed to Lipsey’s name is a range of accomplishments. In her time in high school, Lipsey has made her mark, serving as the president of Statesboro High’s National Art Honor Society, receiving two Georgia Governor’s Honors Program nominations, served as the chair of several National Honor Society committees, and being a member of Beta Club. Lipsey has earned more than just the mark of her recognition through these activities and her overall high school experience.

“I know how to mediate; I can break up fights really easily between my friends,” Lipsey said. “I’ve learned how to compromise. I tend to get into a lot of debates, and I’ve learned how to have intelligent conversations that don’t fall back into yelling at each other or name calling.”

Beyond the superficiality of namesake and membership, Lipsey pursues her passions of music and art through her extracurricular endeavors. She can be seen around Statesboro High scribbling away on an artist’s pad undoubtedly creating a new masterpiece to add to her impressive and extensive collection. As a part of the large amount of her time spent in the art room, Lipsey has contributed to many of the set designs for a number of SHS Drama Department’s productions. She is also a music enthusiast.

“I am a total music snob,” Lipsey said. “I will be the first one to hand out recommendations for new bands I’ve heard and different songs. It’s just really, really important to me.”

Lipsey’s aspirations extend past her high school life. As a senior having participated in the ordeal of college admissions, Lipsey has accrued an impressive admission catalogue. She stated very humbly that among the 11 colleges to which she applied, a list that included such well-knowns as Cornell University, Georgetown University, Emory University, Macalester College, and the University of Virginia, she was accepted by all.

Lipsey plans to attend Georgetown University to pursue a degree in psychology, theology, or anthropology.

In order to leave time for college applications and still enjoy senior year, Lipsey advised for rising seniors, “You should try to get most of your core classes done your first three years. That way, come senior year, you have time to focus on your college applications.”

 

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Nash Davis: far from just being a pretty face, he’s also got a rockin’ body from his time as Cross-Country Captain that almost outshines his incredibly bright future. Davis will be attending the University of Georgia in Fall 2015 as a biology major with a pre-med intent, an accomplishment no doubt stemming from his impressive high school career.

Davis sees his biggest accomplishment as his involvement with Student Government, which he says both helped him get involved and honed his interpersonal skills.

“You learn a lot about leadership,” Davis said. “It connects you with people, underclassmen and upperclassmen.”

Davis served as the Student Government president his junior and senior years, and president of the National Honor Society (NHS) his senior year.

“NHS helped me a lot with community service hours, which probably helped me a lot with getting into Georgia, I have no doubt,” Davis said.

As NHS president, Davis connected with people in the community outside of SHS, which, in conjunction with his work in Student Government, taught him networking skills.

“I think learning how to network with people, how to talk with people … and how to not be afraid to just go out there and meet new people will be my biggest asset in college and outside of college,” Davis said. “Just actually putting yourself out there, you know?”

Even through Davis’s star-like popularity and almost god-like exaltation, he maintains an undeniable humility. Davis seems uncomfortable talking about his accomplishments, saying that he doesn’t feel like there’s a “role” he deserves to be able to bequeath for the Devils’ Advocate’s traditional Last Will and Testament.

“It’s one of those things that I just kind of did … I didn’t take a role from anybody,” Davis said. “Maybe y’all just do the same thing we did and it’ll be good … I love my fellow SHS people.”

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