Go Knights! This afternoon, admidst a sea of gray and cardinal red, Henry W. Grady High School will graduate a class of nearly 300 students. A proud group of graduates, the Grady High Class of 2016 is bursting with academic accolades and honors. Armed with the motto, “Individually, we are different; together, we are Grady!,” this year’s graduating class of 289 scholars are college and career ready, and are ready to make their mark on the world.
Among this year’s numerous scholarly achievements, the Grady class of 2016 boasts $11 million in scholarships; two Gates Millennium Scholars; a National Merit Scholar; award-winning debate team; and 59 students who earned college credit through the “Move On When Ready” dual enrollment program. This class is certainly going places!
And then there are the top students. Representing the brightest and best at Grady High School, this year’s valedictorian, saluatatorian and STAR students are amazing scholars.
Valedictorian Tate Lancaster has maintained a 4.0 GPA as a high school student. When she is not in the classroom, Tate enjoys the arts including drawing and painting projects, dance, live theater and literacy. She is involved in the Henry W. Grady High theater program and its literacy magazine. She has been honored with a Georgia Certificate of Commendation and Highest Honors Award. In the fall, Tate plans to attend Brown University, were she will decide on a college major. She counts her 8-year-old sister as her greatest inspiration. “She’s always so happy,” Tate said with a smile. “She teaches me to appreciate life. She’s full of wonder, and she’s funny.”
Salutatorian and National Merit Scholar Harrison Wilco is the youngest of his siblings to all attend APS schools — from Morningside, Inman, to Grady. At Grady, Harrison has been active in the Grady Jesters Speech and Debate team for four years. He’s competed in Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas debates, captaining both teams, and now serves as president of the Speech and Debate team. He has received the “Outstanding Distinction,” “Academic All American,” and “All State” awards from the National Speech and Debate Association. Harrison has also worked on Grady’s award-winning newspaper, The Southerner, as a staff writer and copy editor. He has joined the National Scholastic Press Association Journalism Honor Roll and received a “Superior Award” for news reporting from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. He plans to major in physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Harrison says his guiding force has always been to try new things and branch out. “In high school, you should try a bunch of stuff to see what you enjoy, even if it makes you uncomfortable at first,” he said. “If it’s something you don’t like, give it a chance. I’ve learned this is always a good, general principle to follow.”
STAR student Will Taft also has a bright future ahead of him. A member of the Henry W. Grady Jazz Band, Will plans to attend to study applied mathematics at Yale University in the fall.
Congratulations Henry W. Grady graduates — You make us #APS STRONG!
Read about all of the outstanding APS Valedictorians and Salutatorians: 2016_Vals-Sals_Bios and Photos