Seniors at Alcovy High School have just a few days left before they graduate and excitement is at an all time high at the school, and none are more excited about the prospect of four years of hard work paying off than valedictorian Zach Bowers and salutatorian Elizabeth Darazs.
Bowers plans to begin preparing for his future immediately following graduation this weekend by preparing for cadet basic training at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
"I plan on spending four years there and becoming a second lieutenant in the United States Army," he said. Bowers also plans to major in engineering though he is unsure what specific field he would like to study.
During his high school career Bowers has run cross country, played tennis, been a member of the Anchor Club, was the 2009 junior state champion in high power rifle shooting and conducted a business research project for the Mellow Mushroom restaurant in Carrolton last year.
He has attended both AHS and the Advanced Academy of West Georgia (during his senior year). Bowers said that his favorite class in high school was U.S. history and in college, U.S. government.
His favorite memory of senior year is also a two part answer. At AHS is his sophomore year tennis practice with his former coach (and current assistant principal) Troy Davis and joking around with the team.
At West Georgia his favorite memory is playing ping pong with one of his Vietnamese friends and Colten Johnson from Newton High School.
Music is a passion for Darazs and her favorite classes in high school were all chorus classes.
"I always seemed to look forward to it every day because of all the musical inspiration from friends, teacher and the music itself," she said.
Darazs plans to spend her summer before college with family and friends before heading to the University of South Carolina where she plans to major in music performance as a vocalist.
During her high school years Darazs played varsity softball and soccer, was in the drama club, even serving as secretary in her senior year, and in show choir where she served as president for all four years.
When asked what he favorite memory of high school was, Darazs remembered a day when she was upset in school because of a negative comment made to her by a teacher, when Scott Rains, her favorite teacher, pulled her aside to speak about the incident.
"He told me ‘Nikki, in all the years I have taught you, I have never seen you with the wrong kind of attitude. You are always upbeat and a positive influence in my class. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can not do. You follow your heart and be true to who you are and never give up on your musical passion. You will succeed,’" remembers Darazs.
"I will never forget Mr. Rains or that message he told me. He has taught me many things, but my favorite memory is when he told me that I can do anything and to let nothing stop me. What he said has really changed my outlook on life and how I perceive obstacles around me. It’s my favorite memory because it taught me the most."
Bowers and Darazs, along with the rest of Alcovy’s class of 2010, will graduate Saturday at 4 p.m. at Church in the Now.