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Many scholar athletes rose to top of their class

5/23/2014, 12:50 p.m.

More than two dozen DeKalb athletes graduated this week at the top of their classes.

Among them, valedictorians and salutatorians from schools like Chamblee, Columbia and Southwest DeKalb.

Twelve athletes led their classes as the valedictorians and 15 were salutatorians at nine schools, including Druid Hills, Stephenson and Tucker.

Valedictorian Adriano Iqbal (tennis) and salutatorian Vivian Lee (cross country) made it a two-year sweep at Druid Hills.

Zoe-Ann Robertson (volleyball) and Nadaysia Brooks (volleyball/basketball) topped the Stephenson honors. Nadaysia, the salutatorian, was part of two consecutive Elite 8 basketball appearances for the Lady Jaguars.

Tucker honored three top students who played tennis for the Tigers and appeared in the Class AAAAA state tournament this spring. Ummar Jamal (valedictorian) and co-salutatorians Huy Diep and Ryan Strickland took top honors. Huy also competed in swimming while Ryan was also a member of the boys’ cross country team that went to the state meet last fall.

Sisters Jennifer Hardister (co-valedictorian) and Elizabeth Hardister (salutatorian) were both part of the 2012-13 cross country and track titles for Dunwoody.

Co-valedictorian Mallory Harris contributed to Friday night football for the Wildcats as part of the marching band program.

Darsan DeShazier (valedictorian) and Gabrielle Ash (salutatorian) garnered the top honors in the Southwest DeKalb resident program. Darsan was a part of the 2013 state championship girls’ basketball team as well as part of runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2014. Gabrielle participated in gymnastics and cheerleading.

Chamblee (resident), Cross Keys, Redan and Stone Mountain all had athletes taking the top academic honors for 2014. Twelve of the 15 sports sponsored by DeKalb County were represented in this group. Cross country (nine) and track (six) led the sports with academic honors, including several athletes who participated in both sports. Tennis was third with five honorees.

Stone Mountain’s Jamarquise Huston (cross country, track, wrestling) was part of a group of 10 athletes who participated in two or more sports while performing at the top of the class academically. Huston earned salutatorian honors at Stone Mountain. Other two-sports stars include Redan valedictorian Tykeria Davidson (softball/soccer), Cross Keys’ salutatorian Cristian Padilla Romero (boys cross country and track) and Cedar Grove salutatorian Chandler Ector (football/track).

For more information, visit www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/athletics.