School Royalty: Smith and Johnson Named Mr. and Miss North Atlanta 2017

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Miss North Atlanta 2017 Kaylan Johnson was escorted at halftime by her godfather Charles Wright.

Homecoming king and queen. Where the American experience is concerned, no two high-school-era positions are more iconic and archetypal. No matter where the holders of these storied, elevated titles go – no matter which life path they take – they will always be able to look back with a smile with the following realization: “Wow: the year I graduated, I was at the top of the homecoming court!”

This year’s Mr. and Miss North Atlanta High School are seniors Bakari Smith and Kaylan Johnson. The pair was crowned on Sept. 22 in Grady Stadium at the Warrior football game against Pope High School.

Both Johnson and Smith gained the titles through a vote among students. More than a popularity contest, the winners of the homecoming titles gain the cherished roles because their peers believe they represent their school’s best attributes.

Johnson said the whole day leading up to the Friday-night crowning was nerve-wracking and exciting. “When they announced my name at the game, I was so excited,” she said. “I can’t even describe the feeling. It felt unrealistic.”

Smith is a veteran of spots on the school’s homecoming court and in prior years he’s won Mr. 10th and Mr. 11th grade. He said being named Mr. North Atlanta was the culmination of his whole high school experience. “To top things off with this honor was really a big deal,” he said. “I’m proud of my school and I’m proud to represent it.”  

Johnson aim to attend college at Syracuse University in New York where she plans on majoring in communication and TV media. At North Atlanta she has been a varsity football manager, a member of the North Atlanta Orchestra, a member of the basketball dance team, all along with serving as president of the Students of Excellence. “Being Miss. North Atlanta is something I don’t take lightly,” she said. “I have to really step up and do even more to represent my school.”

In high school Smith has been active in Students of Excellence and is a member of the National Honor Society. Among the colleges he is considering are Syracuse University, Auburn University, Saint John’s University, Kennesaw State University and  Morehouse College. He credits his high school with helping him develop both academically and interpersonally. “North Atlanta has helped me to be a better leader,” he said. “All my teachers, the administration and all of the great friends I’ve made here. Have all turned me into an even better person than I was when I got here.”  

Homecoming king and queen. Not everyone can say her or she held the role or wore the crown. So for Smith and Bakari the year 2017 was the start of homecoming memories that will last a lifetime.