A mural in one of the hallways at South Atlanta High School features an individual who maximized his potential and became a legend in his field – Brazilian soccer player Pele – along with a quote from him: “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
The painting encapsulates perfectly the spirit and promise of South Atlanta’s students, especially the 167 members of the Class of 2016.
Academics – High School of Computer Animation and Design
Valedictorian Christian Jamal Harris overcame numerous hardships to earn placement in the gifted program and honor roll status while taking Advanced Placement courses. Christian’s honors include Principal’s List, National Honors Society Inductee, National Beta Club Scholastic Art & Writing Silver Key Award, Governor’s Honors Certificate of Recognition, Georgia Student Media Festival “Outstanding Media Production.” He plans to attend the University of Georgia and then become an architectural urban designer.
Salutatorian Kent Purdue, Jr. transformed from a mild mannered young man to one who lets his voice be heard, with a determination to graduate in the top
of his class. His honors include Principal’s Honor Roll, High Honor Roll (four years), Three-Year Project GRAD Scholar (Georgia State, Emory University and Atlanta Metropolitan State College), 2015 Project GRAD Dreamers Award, Student of the Month for Outstanding Citizenship, Emory University and Project GRAD College Access Weekend participant. He plans to attend Georgia State University or Atlanta Metropolitan College, and become a research biologist.
STAR Student Rodolfo Lopez, Jr. has overcome several hardships to become the first member of his family to attend college. His accomplishments and activities include Art Club, Technology Student Association, National Honor Society, Varsity Soccer, Yearbook Committee, Anime Club, South Atlanta STAR Student, Top 10%, Principal’s List, High Honor Roll, Honor Roll, AP Scholar, 1500+ Club, and TSA Vice President. He will attend Kennesaw State University with the goal of becoming an architect.
Health and Medical Sciences
Valedictorian Klai’Shon Latrice Fambrough’s astounding perseverance and dedication to
academics led her to the top of her class. Among her accolades are Atlanta Board of Education Certificate of Commendation, Top Ten Percent, Most Dedicated (Basketball), Principal’s Award, First Place District (Social Studies), Highest GPA (Math), National Honor’s Society, Emory Pipeline Honoree, Project GRAD Honoree, Most Dedicated (Volleyball) and Emory PREP Honoree. She plans to attend Mercer University and become a pediatrician.
Salutatorian Guadalupe Villasenor Paredes had to learn to speak English at a young age and adapt to a new culture. She persevered and developed an appreciation for the various cultures in her community. Her accomplishments include Principal’s List, AB Honor Roll, Emory Pipeline, First Place in Regional Social Studies Fair Project, Dreamer’s Award: Project GRAD, Best Offensive Soccer Player, Outstanding Achievement Awards, and Top 10 percent of class. Guadalupe plans to attend Georgia State University, major in biology and become a pediatrician.
Law and Social Justice
Valedictorian Tytianna Jakivia Harshaw’s dedication to academic excellence is illustrated
by her willingness to challenge herself in difficult AP courses such as World History, U.S History, Language and Composition, Biology, and Literature and Composition. Her accomplishments include the Woodrow Wilson Community Service Award, Atlanta Public Schools ACT 21+ Award, Top Achiever in AP World History, Coca Cola Semi-finalist, Principal’s List, Highest EOCT in US History and Biology, Legion of Valor Medal, Daughters of the American Revolution Medal, National Honor Society, National Beta Club, Superintendent Ambassador, and founder of Let’s Keep Going Foundation. Tytianna will attend either West Point or Georgia Tech, major in biology and become a pediatrician.
Salutatorian Alexes La Nae Harris, also a Posse Scholar, participated in a number of community service-related projects overseas, in Peru, Africa, Dubai, Mexico, the Bahamas and Jamaica. This stimulated her interest in how different countries operate economically, politically, and socially. Alexes was also a VOX Magazine teen journalist for almost three years. At the George Washington University, Alexes will enhance her educational pursuits on campus as well as in the community. She plans to major in broadcast journalism and study international affairs, with hopes of becoming a broadcast journalist who focuses on overseas relations.
STAR Student Dayla D’jita Smith participated in Moot Court, and interned with the Atlanta
Bar Association. She plans to attend Xavier University in New Orleans, major in criminal justice, become a defense attorney and later start her own law firm.
Additionally, the South Atlanta Class of 2016 boasts an Emerging Leader Scholar (Matthew Brown), 46 Project GRAD scholars, 34 HOPE scholars and six Zell Miller Scholars. In total, the Hornets earned more than $4M in scholarships.
The Georgia Commission of Service and Volunteerism recognized eight Hornets who completed more than 300 hours of service in high school with Tytianna Harshaw fulfilling more than 1,200 hours herself.
Arts and Athletics
In athletics, the boys varsity basketball team advanced to the state Final Four. Seniors include Artavious Banks, Orlando Bebee, Korbian Bell, Devontae Dean, Malcolm Ford, Alan Tamplin and Quinterius Thurman. Korbian (Fort Valley State University) and Devontae (Northern Oklahoma College) earned full scholarships. For the girls’ team, Takira Lindley earned Regional Player of the Year honors and signed a scholarship to attend Miami Dade Community College.
In track, Demarqueze Sneed won the Class AAA state championship in the 400 meters.
In the fine arts, the concert band received superior ratings from the Georgia Music Educators.
Congratulations to all of our South Atlanta High graduates — You make us #APS STRONG!
Read about all of the outstanding APS Valedictorians and Salutatorians: 2016_Vals-Sals_Bios and PhAotos