Shamerria Shuntae Walker is the 2015 Salutatorian of Therrell Health Sciences and Research


Dr. Benjamin E. Mays once stated, “It isn’t a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.” As Shamerria Walker entered the doors of D.M. Therrell high school four years ago, she anticipated meeting some challenges, but was up for the task—as she was inspired by Dr. Mays’ quote without realizing that this would be her future. During her matriculation at Therrell, she encountered faculty and staff who inspired her to be the very best. She is also grateful for all the support and assistance she received from Miss Silki Modi her college adviser, someone who has been one of the biggest inspirations in her life. Shamerria hopes that her academic success in high school inspires her younger sister to keep education at the forefront of her goals as it is the key to success.

Plans to Attend: Georgia State University

Major: Psychology

Career Goal: Clinical Psychologist

May 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

Future Marketing Consultant Jaquria Meshe’ Johnson is the 2015 Valedictorian of Therrell Health Sciences and Research


During the past four years at D.M. Therrell High School JaQuria Johnson’s academic accomplishments were gained through hard work, sheer determination and holding steadfast to her goals. As a small child, she was taught to set goals and to be the best that she could be, but she never expected to be at the top of her graduating class. JaQuria believes that her past experiences have transformed her into an individual who is academically focused and knows what she wants to accomplish in life. There have been a number of individuals who were instrumental in her road to academic success. These individuals also played a vital role in molding her to be the zealous student she is today. JaQuria hopes to put all of her experiences into a lifetime career that encompasses the principles of business economics. She would like to ultimately use her experiences to build up the community through the implementation of innovative ideas that will inspire others to do the same.

Plans to Attend: Agnes Scott College

Major: Economics / Business

Career Goal: Marketing Consultant

May 23, 2015 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

Keairra Brown is Maynard Jackson’s 2015 Salutatorian


Keairra Brown is the eldest of four children. She and her family moved to Atlanta in 2004. Her mother would later justify moving to the big city as a way to gain a better education and acquire more opportunities. Keairra, who many would describe as an introvert, humble, and ambitious would attend school for the first time in Atlanta along with her sisters. Throughout her years in school, she excelled in her studies and received many awards for her accomplishments. However, just as any other student, she would face many odds along her journey, such as financial complications, fear of public speaking, and senioritis. Despite these challenges, Keairra came out on top, and she plans to strive to make change for the world by devoting herself to humanity.

Plans to Attend: Emory University

Major: Biology and Chinese Studies

Career Goal: Obstetrician/Gynecologists

May 23, 2015 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Maynard Jackson’s Valedictorian Atia Butts Plans to Attend Georgia Tech and Study International Affairs


Atia Butts has managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA for the entirety of her high school career, partaking in Advanced Placement courses as well as International Baccalaureate courses her junior and senior year. Rigor is no stranger to Atia as she also participated in Emory’s Pre-College program for Evolutionary Biology, Summer Math and Science Enrichment Academy (SMSEA) for Honors Physics and Crew Teens High Prep Academy for rising freshman. Last summer she traveled to Beijing and Henan, China for a three-week summer program. This past fall, she collaborated with 12 German exchange students from Nuremberg to conduct a research project on the awareness and prevention of human trafficking called, “Not For Sale.” In fall 2015, Atia will attend the Georgia Institute of Technology and major in International Affairs.

Plans to Attend: Georgia Institute of Technology

Major: International Affairs

Career Goal: Study Abroad Program Coordinator

May 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

Future Chemist Robert Leon is the 2015 Salutatorian of North Atlanta High


Robert Leon is fascinated by the nuances, recent discoveries, and basic understanding of science, yet the other side of his personality is very passionate about music. Expanding the vision he had before in music as a pleasant experience, he grew to understand more of its characteristics—falling in love with the essence of classical music through his experience studying the violin and participating in all the Metro-Atlanta youth orchestras. Robert persevered through eight IB classes, in which he was able to find meaning in learning: a need to keep learning to understand the world we live in today. In college, he hopes to study chemistry for a career and play violin for pure enjoyment.

Plans to Attend: Georgia Institute of Technology

Major: Chemistry/Pharmaceuticals and

Instrumental Performance

Career Goal: Chemist

May 23, 2015 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

Student-Athlete Kendall De Laria is the 2015 Valedictorian of North Atlanta High



Kendall De Laria transferred to North Atlanta from Tennessee in 2013 where she attended the Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK). At CAK she was a member of the CAK State-Champion and State-Runner-Up soccer team. In 2013, she entered the International Baccalaureate Program at North Atlanta where she continued her athletics to pursue her interests in sports by participating in varsity cross-country and soccer. In her senior year, she was captain of the girl’s cross-country team. Kendall enjoys leading the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, for which she has served as co-president and as president. She also enjoys participating in local and global mission work and leading a running club for girls at La Amastad. Furthermore, she founded an Operation Smile Club, which fundraises for the organization’s life changing surgeries.

Plans to Attend: Georgia Institute of Technology

Major: Biology and Psychology

Career Goal: Pediatric Dentis

May 23, 2015 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

Benjamin E. Mays Valedictorian Angel Gabriel has plans to study Neuroscience and African American Studies


Angel Gabriel is proud to be the Valedictorian of Benjamin E. Mays High School. This year, Angel participated in the Dual Enrollment Accel Program at Georgia State University where she was inducted into Georgia State University’s chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. With roots in New Orleans, Angel debuted as a maid and honorary member of the Jugs Social Club, Incorporated, an African American social and civic organization in New Orleans. While working with Jugs, Angela received a stewardship award from the Algiers community and became an honorary member of the organization. In her spare time, she reads novels by Toni Morrison, volunteers at West Manor Elementary School, and spends time with her younger brothers. She is also a member of the Hillside International Truth Center, where she is inspired by Pastor Dr. Barbara Lewis King.

Plans to Attend: Undecided

Major: Neuroscience, African American Studies

Career Goal: Psychiatrist

May 22, 2015 at 7:15 pm Leave a comment

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