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Carrollton seniors Kenyon, Ou earn top academic honors
Cali Jones

Although Carrollton High School had a strong group of academic seniors this year, two students earned the prestigious titles of valedictorian and salutatorian.

Edward Kenyon earned the top honor — valedictorian —for finishing his career at CHS with the highest average, while Tyler Ou was recognized for earning the second-highest average to be designated the salutatorian for the Class of 2024. The announcement was made last week preceding the commencement ceremony. 

Edward's academic talent has not gone unnoticed. He received the Governor’s Honors finalist distinction and was also named a U.S. Presidential Scholar, Presbyterian College Junior Fellow, Wofford Scholar, and was a Junior Honor Marshal. Edward was also awarded the UGA Certificate of Merit and the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award in his junior year. He was also a National Merit Scholarship Program finalist. As he prepares to transition into the next chapter, Edward’s achievements and aspirations position him for success in academics and all that he pursues.

“From this point on, our future is ultimately up to us,” Edward said as he addressed his peers at graduation. “I believe we have a responsibility to those who supported us to, in turn, improve the lives of those who come after us. I believe that each and every one of us has an obligation to leave the world a better place than we found it.”

Tyler, the son of Mike Ou and Joanne Gaw, is attending Yale University in the fall and where he will be dancing with the school’s dance program. During his high school years, Tyler served as dance team captain, participated in speech and debate, and was also a member of the Thespian Society. He was named an AP Scholar with Distinction and received acknowledgement by College Board in their National Rural and Small Town recognition. He was named a University of Georgia Certificate of Merit student, actively participated in performing arts, and was involved in numerous school clubs. He also served as a Junior Honor Marshal his junior year. 

Tyler had words of wisdom to share with his peers, too. 

“Remember that in a sea of uncertainty, what is certain is ourselves,” he said. “We can take what we know about ourselves and trust ourselves to succeed."

CHS Principal Ian Lyle said he thinks the two students will go far in life.

"Edward and Tyler are students who take advantage of every opportunity for success," said Lyle. "Their hard work paid off, and I know they will achieve great things. I am proud to call them alumni of Carrollton High School."

From classroom to country: CHS senior's commitment to leadership and serving
Cali Jones

A Carrollton High School senior known for his leadership and academic dedication has also tirelessly served his community. Now, he sets his sights on serving his country by joining the Navy after graduation.

During his time at CHS, Joseph Ivey has been actively involved in various extracurricular activities. 

He achieved the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, a testament to his leadership skills, perseverance, and dedication to community service. Additionally, Joseph was a member of the Cyberpatriot team, VEX Robotics, and ESports, and upheld academic excellence as a member of the National Honor Society.

Joseph spent more than 800 hours on his Eagle Scout project. He constructed the American Pavilion at Castle Playground in Carrollton. 

Carrollton High School senior Joseph Ivey completed his Eagle Scout project earlier this spring. Joseph constructed the American Pavilion at Castle Playground. 

“The idea for the American Pavilion stemmed from a simple observation and love of the outdoors,” said Joseph. “I knew there was a need, and I felt compelled to do something about it. Leading this project wasn't without its challenges but overcoming them only strengthened my resolve. It taught me the importance of resilience, adaptability, and effective communication. And most importantly, it showed me the incredible things we can achieve when we work together towards a common goal. I can't help but feel grateful for the opportunity to make a tangible and positive impact on my community. The American Pavilion may just be a structure, but to me, it represents so much more—it's a testament to what we can accomplish when we come together with a shared purpose.”

Joseph's decision to enlist in the Navy is driven by his deep-seated desire to serve his country and his admiration for the elite training of the Navy SEALs. 

"Deciding to enlist was a significant choice for me," Joseph says. "I've always felt a strong sense of duty towards protecting our nation and am eager to challenge myself both mentally and physically."

As he prepares to serve, Joseph said he looks forward to contributing to national security and humanitarian efforts.

"What excites me the most is the chance to make a meaningful impact and contribute to something larger than myself," he said.

CHS teacher Robby Blakemore said Joseph is a selfless person.

“Joseph is an incredibly altruistic person,” said CHS teacher Robby Blakemore. “He truly embodies the concept of putting others before oneself. Whenever I needed someone to compete or create, I could always count on him. He excelled in everything he did, and I believe it's because he did it for others, not for himself.”

Joseph is the son of Mickey and Candace Ivey.


CHS senior receives full-ride scholarship
Cali Jones

Carrollton High School senior Shad McMillan has been awarded the prestigious Gates Scholarship, an inspiring mark of achievement that provides full tuition assistance for each semester of college. 

This scholarship covers financial aid for each semester, allowing him to pursue his college education without the burden of debt.

To be eligible for the Gates Scholarship, applicants must demonstrate strong academic performance with a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, and hold U.S. citizenship or residency. The scholarship, one of the most substantial merit-based awards available, aims to support academically outstanding students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

Annually, the 300 recipients of the Gates Scholarship are given funds that cover the total cost of college —  adjusted for financial aid, other scholarships, and expected family contributions.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds the scholarship, which covers expenses for room and board, textbooks, travel, and other personal costs related to college attendance. Students can also use the funds for study abroad programs or off-campus housing. 

Shad expressed his gratitude for this opportunity.

 "I am extremely grateful to have been given such an amazing opportunity,” he said. “With everything my family and I have endured, this truly feels like a blessing.”

While Shad has committed to the University of Georgia, he still awaits decisions from Harvard and the University of Virginia, where he remains on the waitlist. 


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