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Top of the class
Momin, Allen announced as Magnet valedictorian, salutatorian
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Rockdale Magnet school's valedictorian, Shalomi Momin, right, and salutatorian, Amelia Allen, with "Mr. Bones" - photo by Michelle Kim

The Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology recently announced Shalomi Momin as valedictorian and Amelia Allen as salutatorian for the class of 2010.

Although the girls make it look easy, competition among the top ranks of the Magnet School is stiff.

Allen said she didn’t even think it was possible for her to reach the top spots when she started high school, but when she realized she was doing well, she decided try and maintain her straight-A record.

"There was a lot of competition for me," said Allen." At the beginning of the year, I was tied for second with someone, and we knew only one of us could be second."

This year, the difference between valedictorian and salutatorian came down to a band class, which is unweighted – Allen played clarinet in the marching band. The math enthusiast is also on the math team, president of the Mu Alpha Theta math honors society chapter at the Magnet school, and part of Beta club.

Momin, who is also in the Beta club and math team, part of the Science Olympiad, played on JV and Varsity soccer, and volunteers at the Jaffari Center for a youth/Sunday school, said being valedictorian wasn’t something on her mind everyday, but that she did have to work hard.

"When I was a sophomore and a junior, every test I didn’t think, I have to get an A or I won’t be valedictorian. But we did have to work for it. It wasn’t just handed to us. It wasn’t just easy. It’s Magnet and Magnet has a rigorous curriculum."

Momin, who will be attending UGA, said she is interested in studying biochemistry, because of the interest sparked by doing research here, with an eye towards going into medicine.

Both girls cited Dr. Chuck Garner as an influential teacher, "Because of his charismatic personality and his ability to encourage people," explained Momin.

Allen is heading to Agnes Scott in the fall with her twin sister, Samantha, who is also in the top 10 at the Magnet School. Before college starts, she said she is looking forward to going to Mexico on a Mission trip with her church, Monticello Presbyterian.

Allen said she wanted to major in math. "It’s what I love to do," she said, adding, "There’s so many good career options with math."

They both said they were a little nervous about getting up to speak at the graduation ceremony, but that they were used to having to present their research in public as part of the Magnet curriculum.