Fifteen of the 49 DeKalb School System valedictorians and salutatorians competed in either basketball, competitive cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis or track.
That number represents 30.6 percent of those receiving the highest honors at their schools. The 15 athletes represent 10 different athletic endeavors, including four who played multiple sports during the 2011-2012 school year.
Arabia Mountain’s magnet and resident valedictorians Joe Lindsey and Desmond Caulley are among the top sports and academic scholars. Desmond was the Rams linebacker, and Joe participated on the school’s cross country team.
Stone Mountain valedictorian Edin Ibrisimovic was the Pirates’ place kicker, finishing the 2012 season third with 37 points. He was also the captain of the soccer team, contributing one goal and four assists.
Southwest DeKalb and Cross Keys are the only two schools to have athletes as both their magnet valedictorians and salutatorians. Southwest DeKalb valedictorian Raquel May was a competitive cheerleader, and salutatorian Ashley McCray was on the gymnastics team. Raquel’s competitive cheer squad finished as the Region 6-AAAA champs and went on to an eighth-place finish in state competition.
Cross Keys valedictorian Laura Ramirez was 5-1 in tennis singles play and swam in four events for the Lady Indians swim team. Salutatorian Chandra Dickey competed in the long jump and high jump in track while also participating in cheerleading.
Redan had the most athletes recognized for academics and three are co-salutatorians. Guy Dorris played tennis, Tombari Ereba was on the soccer team, and Jared James played football.
The other athletic scholars include Columbia resident salutatorian Lateria Slocumb, Lithonia salutatorian Joshua Grosh, Stephenson valedictorian Joylyn Stroud, Towers salutatorian Brett Oakman, and Tucker valedictorian Mati’n Malikyar.
Seven athletes were awarded the Council of PTAs Gladys Cook Scholarships and the Gates Millennium Scholarships.
Three cross country athletes – Arabia Mountain’s Joe Lindsey, Cross Keys’ Thuy Tran and Dunwoody’s Bryce Rowan – are 2012 Gates Millennium Scholars.
Lithonia’s Kaelyn Paschal; Redan’s Kaylin Riggs; Southwest DeKalb’s Demetria Dickins, a bronze medalist in the Class AAAA shot put; and Tucker’s two-sport participant Claire Lippy were among 13 students awarded Gladys Cook Scholarships from the DeKalb Council of PTAs.