The top 20 graduating seniors at George County High School were honored at an Explosion of Excellence celebration on Monday night, May 6.
The event was held at GCHS Cafetorium at 6 p.m. The welcome and invocation were given by Sid Taylor. Ethan Welford extended the Challenge. Scholarships were announced by George County Chamber of Commerce members. Awards and closing remarks were given by GCHS Principal Wade Whitney.
A total of $6.5 million in scholarships were awarded to the top 20 students.
The Honor Students
The top three students were Kylan Alexa Welford, valedictorian; Savan Dasharath Patel, salutatorian; and Cody Aaron McDoniel, historian.
Also in the top 20 students were Laiken Cheyenne Dixon, William Grant Dement, Caleb Orion Scott, Amanda Lynn Cates, Allison Lauralee Gibson;
Trevor Dale McDonald, Jackson Howell Slay, Robyn Elizabeth Moss, Kaylee Lynette Son, Nathaniel James Smoak, Sydney Skylar Howell, Destiney Iyanna Blackston, Lindsay Anne Thompson, Isaac Timothy Burns, Grant Lane Eubanks, Chloe Faye Russell and Caleb Andrew Box.
Kylan Welford, valedictorian, will attend Mississippi State University. She plans to pursue a degree in civil engineering. She received a total of $33,500 in scholarships. These included a mayoral scholarship for Girls’ State, an academic excellence scholarship from MSU, a Distinguished Young Woman Scholarship and an ACT scholarship.
Savan Patel, salutatorian, will attend the University of South Alabama where he plans to earn a degree in biomedical sciences and eventually become an optometrist. He was awarded an academic scholarship for $32,000.
Cody McDoniel, historian, will attend Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and complete his degree at Mississippi State University. He plans to study engineering. He was awarded a $12,000 scholarship for academic excellence, an ACT scholarship, the Colvard Future Leader Scholarship for $6,000 and a $1,000 George F. McNeill Memorial Scholarship.
Other honors students
Trevor McDonald will attend the University of South Alabama and study biomedical science and dentistry. He received an academic excellence and baseball scholarship for $56,367 and a $1,000 scholarship for Boys’ State.
Allison Gibson plans to attend Jones County Community College, where she was awarded a full tuition scholarship for academic excellence and a half tuition scholarship for concert choir. She plans to study pharmacy and business administration.
Amanda Cates plans to attend Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and was awarded a full tuition academic excellence sholarship and a CTE scholarship. She plans to study physical therapy and then complete her degree at a university.
Caleb Scott will attend Mississippi State University and pursue a degree in chemical engineering. He was awarded a scholarship for $2,500 for Mississippi Eminent Scholars, a $1,000 George F. McNeill Memorial Scholarship, the MSU STAR Student Scholarship for $6,000, the MSU Freshman Academic Scholarship for $24,000 and a $10,000 Colvard Future Leader Scholarship.
Grant Dement plans to attend Pearl River Community College. He was awarded a full tuition scholarship for academic excellence and a $1,000 Boys’ State Scholarship. He plans to study nursing.
Laiken Cheyenne Dixon will attend Pearl River County Community College and study political science. She was awarded a full tuition ACT scholarship to PRCC.
Caleb Box will attend Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He has received the James Thomas Scholarship for full tuition. He will continue his studies at Mississippi State University in the field of mechanical engineering.
Chloe Faye Russell will attend Pearl River Community College to pursue a degree in dental hygiene. She was awarded the Vice-Presidential ACT Scholarship for full tuition and a $1,000 Ted J. Alexander Endowed Leadership Program Scholarship.
Grant Eubanks will attend Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where he has been awarded an academic excellence scholarship and a Reflections Team scholarship. He will continue his studies at Mississippi State University in the field of secondary education with an emphasis in mathematics.
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Isaac Burns will attend Jones County Community College where he was awarded an academic excellence scholarship. He plans to earn his bachelor’s degree in accounting at Ole Miss and then attend law school.
Destiney Blackston will attend Louisiana State University. Her major is pre-med biology, and she plans to attend medical school.
Sydney Howell will attend Pearl River Community College in the fall to pursue a degree in nursing. Sydney was awarded an academic scholarship for her ACT score and also a CTE scholarship.
Nathaniel Smoak will attend the University of South Alabama in the fall. He was awarded a USA Dean’s scholarship. He plans to earn his degree in biomedical science and then complete his MLS.
Kaylee Son will attend Jones County Community College in the fall. She was awarded an ACT scholarship. Kaylee plans to study pre-med biology and then complete her medical degree at a university in the field of dermatology.
Robyn Moss plans to attend Pearl River Community College to pursue a degree in respiratory care technology. Robyn was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for Girls’ State, a half tuition ACT scholarship at PRCC, an $8,000 academic excellence scholarship at USM and a full tuition scholarship for dance with the String of Pearls at PRCC.
Jackson Slay will attend Mississippi State University to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. Jack was awarded the Colvard Future Leader scholarship for $8,000, the Freshman Academic Excellence Scholarship of $18,000, a $1,500 scholarship for the mayoral position at Boys’ State, a Modern Woodmen of America scholarship for $2,500, the George F. McNeill Memorial Scholarship for $1,000, the Student Body President Scholarship for $1,500, the Study Abroad Scholarship for $2,000 and an ACT scholarship for half tuition.
Lindsay Thompson, also a top 20 student, completed requirements for graduation in December 2018. She is presently attending a junior college in North Carolina.