George Walton Academy announced its 2014 valedictorian as Casey Carrell and its salutatorian as Audrey Hardison.
Carrell is graduating with a 3.93 unweighted GPA. His high school resume includes the literary team, which has won state competition, cross country for two years and track for four years.
“We’ve all been going to school together since kindergarten, so these are the only people I know,” Carrell said. “It will be really different without them.”
Going on literary trips with the team to Birmingham, Alabama, has been a highlight of his last four years.
An Atlanta native, Carrell moved to Monroe as a child because of his father’s business. He said his dad owns an exotic animal farm, so he has spent time around Asian water buffalo, exotic parrots and alpacas.
Although he is leaving the friends he has known his whole life, Carrell said he is ready the “new adventure, new city and new people.” He will begin Furman University in South Carolina to major in pre-med. With his mother being a veterinarian, he said he has always been interested in medicine, but that being an “animal doctor is not me.”
Hardison’s unweighted GPA is a 3.9. She has played soccer since middle school and was on the leadership team.
She seconded Carrell’s notion that not being around people she has been with since kindergarten will be different.
She said she liked the relationships she was able to develop with teachers at such a small school.
However, the Monroe native is also ready for a new experience in college.
“It’s nice to change it up,” Hardison said.
She said she particularly enjoyed traveling to Europe last summer with a group of teachers and students. They spent 11 days in England, Wales, Ireland and Paris.
Hardison will attend the University of Georgia with about 10 friends to major in marketing and design. She said she was always interested in event planning, and she loves art, so the major more or less fell into place.