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The Warrior Wire

For All Things North, Read the Wire

The Warrior Wire

For All Things North, Read the Wire

The Warrior Wire

True Warriors: Class of 2024 Claims Bright Future During May 24 Graduation Ceremony

Carter Brown, Grayson Dunning, Dinesh Oggu, Skylar Fleury, Grace Johnston, Genesis Strother

As freshmen, members of North Atlanta’s Class of 2024 bravely made their first-day-of-high school entrance in fall 2021 by logging on their computers and entering into Zoom School classes. From that bumpy start – made necessary by a global COVID 19 pandemic – the class traversed four years of high school together, and exited their journeys as Warriors during a May 24 graduation ceremony held in Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion. The Class of 2024, counting 561 graduates, is the school’s second-largest-ever graduation class from the city’s biggest high school. The just-graduated group is also North Atlanta’s 34th graduation class, dating back to the school’s 1991 founding.

During the ceremony Interim Superintendent Danielle Battle, members of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education and North Cluster feeder school principals were on hand to witness the graduates march across the stage to shake Principal Curtis Douglass’s hand and to receive their diplomas. 

For the Class of 2024, the class valedictorian, the student with the highest cumulative grade point average, was Jane Heller. The class salutatorian, the student with the second highest GPA, was Miah Chien. In the fall, Heller will attend Georgia Tech and Chien will attend Brown University. 

Heller, in her valedictorian address, reminded her fellow graduates about the many ways the city’s largest high school – and its diverse student body – has prepared its students for their future. “We are an incredibly diverse school and this has allowed unique opportunities that will be hard to find elsewhere,” Heller said. “Let your time at North Atlanta give you an open mind as you venture forwards. Appreciate that you have gotten to go school with people that hold a wide variety of perspectives. The ability to understand the world through so many different eyes is an amazing thing.”

For the Class of 2024, this year’s STAR student, the student with the highest score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, was Jill Yoder. Yoder, who scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT, will attend Wake Forest University for college. She named social studies teacher Elliot Reid as this year’s STAR teacher.

During the ceremony, 12th grade Assistant Principal Jill Stewart read off the names of noteworthy award recipients among senior class members. Miah Chien, Jane Heller, Aidan Hosang and Sara Roman were recognized as National Merit Scholars. The Most Outstanding IB Learners Awards went to Kristen Dickerson and Ryder Zufi. The Principal’s Cup Award, an award given by the school principal and that honors the students who best exemplifies the ideals of North Atlanta, went to Jackson Norflis. The AJC Cup Award, named for academic excellence and extra-curricular leadership, went to Kaleigh Fleming. The Warrior Scholar Athlete Award, which goes toward an exemplary varsity team captain who maintains a strong grade point average, went to Anna Samuelson. Conner Hughes was awarded the Coca-Cola Golden Helmet Award, a varsity football team focused-award that recognizes athletes of strong character coupled with strong academic performance. Senior Jayden Bastien, who will study at Georgia Tech, was recognized for his consistency. Bastien, throughout his four-year high school journey, never missed one day of school.  

Seniors Ryan Hoffman and Carter Rose were recognized for receiving full appointments to U.S. military academies. Hoffman will attend the Air Force Academy and Rose will attend the Naval Academy. The Class of 2024 featured three Posse Foundation Scholarship recipients. Students Luke McCullough, Shelby Terry and Adriana Claudio, who received four-year, full-tuition college scholarships, will attend Boston University, Brandeis University and College of Wooster, respectively.

The Class of 2024 will also be known for its academic accomplishments and class members will be attending some of the nation’s most prestigious private and public institutions. The classes’ academic prowess is ably illustrated by the fact that class members have been awarded nearly $43 million in grants and scholarships for pursuance of their post-secondary educational goals.

During the ceremony APS Board member Jennifer McDonald officially certified the students as North Atlanta High School graduates. In an address to the graduates, McDonald, the board’s vice chair, also called on each student at the ceremony to be intentional about what they were experiencing on their special day. “We are right now we are living in a day that is irreplaceable. I want you to remember this moment forever,” McDonald said. “And every single person here came here to celebrate you. This is Warrfam and it sets the gold standard for you that you’ve been part of something that’s really great. So I want you to take that into whatever community you’re now going to next. Class of 2024: You’re fantastic! You always have been and you always will be.” 

 After McDonald’s speech, senior Luke McCullough led his peers as they moved their tassels from the right to the left side of their mortarboard – to signify their new status as North Atlanta graduates. Resounding cheers then went up, from both elated graduates and their proud family members who filled McCamish. “It really hit home to all of us at that point,” said senior Genesis Strother. “Our high school years were over and North Atlanta was in our past. But there’s so much appreciation for what our school has helped us become.”   

At the ceremony’s conclusion, it was Principal Douglass who presented the school’s newest graduation class to the audience. And it was the school principal who ably summed up the feelings that North Atlanta will always feel toward all members of its 34th graduation class. “It’s never easy to see our graduates leave us, particularly not a group as noteworthy as this one,” said Douglass. “But in considering all that they have done, and all they went through during their high school years, we know that this is a resilient class and they collectively accomplished so much. Class of 2024, we are so very proud of you! Never forget us and never forget that you’re always part of the Warrior family.” 

From a Zoom School beginning, now zooming toward their unlimited futures. That’s the enduring legacy of North Atlanta’s Class of 2024. 

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