Stephens Co. Honors Top Five

top five 1Stephens County celebrates academic achievement.

The 53rd annual Top Five Banquet took place Tuesday night at Stephens County High School.

The Toccoa Rotary Club sponsors the banquet that honors the top five percent of the senior class of Stephens County High School, as well as the top five students in grades 6 through 11.

Toccoa Rotary Club President the Very Reverend Mary Demmler said it is an event the club enjoys being a part of each year.

“It is our major project that we do every year,” said the Very Rev. Demmler. “It is absolutely the highlight for the club every year not just to see the work of the seniors and to see what their careers were like, but also to see these students from sixth grade through 11th grade coming up and working hard to be recognized tonight. It is very exciting.”

This year’s “Top Five” high school seniors are Josie Suzanne Anderson, Victoria Lindsey Dake, Emma Claire Frazier, Brittany Jordan Grier, Madison Michelle Hickey, Carlan Rae Howard, Kailin Aundrea Huelsman, Katherine Lane Hunt, Alexandra Loelle Jester, and William Connor Roberts.

Each of them receives a scholarship from the Toccoa Rotary Club.

top five 2The guest speaker for this year’s banquet was Young Harris College President and former Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox.

She said that while times change, the value of an education is just as important as ever.

“Education is the key to what Georgia high school graduates will do in the future,” said Cox. “It is the key to what they will do and what they will earn.”

Cox encouraged students to always continue learning and pursuing further education.

However, she said they should also pursue happiness.

“Remember that friendships, the times of laughter, the clowning around episodes count a great deal more than the dollar signs,” said Cox.

Other special thanks as part of the Top Five banquet were given to the Pilot Club of Toccoa and the Toccoa Junior Women’s Club.

The Top Five students for Grades 6 through 11 are as follows:

Grade 11: Dustin Jordan Bivins, Kristoffer Michael Clark, Grant Walker Dawson, Karolyn Jean Knickerbocker, Jaron Tyler Lehman

Grade 10: Ellen Mae Brock, Emily Grace Morgan, Sadie Raine Pruitt, Natalie Elise Simmons, Haylee Elizabeth Walker

Grade 9: Ian Douglas Allen, Ethan Edward Fernandez, Margaret Lizette Smith, Lauren Diane Swenson, Brittian Nicole Watson

Grade 8: Andi Grace Brock, Christopher Joseph Carringer, Natalie Anne Morgan, Benjamin Farrish Mulkey, Hannah Suzanne Watkins

Grade 7: Alexander Jerry Blakely, Daniel Jerry Brock, Karli Allyssa Dodgins, Katelyn Nicole Hampton, Davis Martin Swenson

Grade 6: Ayden Elizabeth Bailey, Micah David Hunt, Derrick Kyle McCurley, Kaitlin Michelle Quick, Raelyn Georgia Sanders