Accomplished and Community-minded: Cobb’s Class of 2024 Ready to Make Their Mark on the World

Congratulations Class of 2024

This past week, Cobb families, educators, and entire school communities celebrated 8,400+ students reaching the pinnacle of student success—graduation. 

"A record-setting 154 million dollars in scholarships earned shows what a success the Class of 2024, and our schools, continue to be. It also reminds us of the invaluable role of Cobb’s educators, whoGraduation%202024-24-2.jpg remain focused on providing a world-class education. Our schools continue to be the best option in the metro area because of the stability of our Board and leadership,” said School Board Chair Randy Scamihorn. 

From National Merit Scholarships, military academy scholarships, and athletic scholarships to a Questbridge Scholarship, RIT Presidential Scholarship, Georgia Reach Scholarship, and full-ride scholarships to Carnegie Mellon University, Brown University, Duke University, and Northwestern University, among others, Cobb’s Class of 2024 are recipients of a variety of prestigious scholarships. Other notable scholarships include Posse, Gates Millennium, TheDream.US, Agnes Scott Trustee, Caswell, Vanderbilt Chancellors, Eagle Scout, and Cobb Schools Foundation, to name a few. 

This year, the Cobb community celebrated the first graduates of Cobb's cutting-edge career center, the Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA).

An impressive 75% of Cobb graduates are charting their courses toward continuing their educational journey, underscoring the value placed on lifelong learning within the Cobb County School District. This statistic speaks volumes about the ambition and drive of these graduates to further their knowledge and skills in pursuit of their dreams.436148852_866144648884249_2260512909898269733_n.jpg

Although the Class of 2024 is leaving for schools near and far, Cobb graduates are more likely to meet others from home at one of the following schools: Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Howard University, Mercer University, Oglethorpe University, University of Alabama, and University of Mississippi. 

Hundreds of Cobb athletes are joining collegiate teams, including soccer, baseball, football, basketball, golf, cheerleading, diving, lacrosse, swimming, cross country, and track and field. Their new athletic homes range from Georgia Institute of Technology and Furman University to the United States Military Academy-West Point, Duke University, and many more. 

The average GPA for Cobb’s Class of 2024 valedictorians stands at 4.697. This year’s class of salutatorians is close behind, with an average GPA of 4.659.

442441590_866839802148067_6421323220045055552_n.jpgThe future career plans for the Class of 2024 touch on every aspect of life. Many are setting out to give back to their community. More than 200 Cobb graduates are signing on to serve their country as members of the U.S. military, including more than ten appointed to prestigious U.S. military academies.

In addition to their academic and career pursuits, the Class of 2024 has made significant contributions to their communities. Collectively, the Cobb graduates recorded 152,654+ community service hours. Their acts of kindness and compassion serve as an inspiration for others to follow.

Cobb’s Class of 2024 is filled with inspiring stories. Graduates are headed to Ivy League universities, and some have already run non-profits. Despite facing a myriad of challenges ranging from unexpected health diagnoses to the loss of loved ones, these remarkable graduates have navigated life-changing and, at times, life-threatening obstacles and emerged as beacons of inspiration for their peers and communities. 4F0A1157-Enhanced-NR.jpg 

Before they walked the graduation stage, they returned to walk the halls of their elementary and middle schools one last time. They returned to thank the educators who helped them and to inspire the younger versions of themselves.

Some of Cobb’s valedictorians have advice for students preparing to begin their high school journey.

“Create a schedule and figure out how to best manage your time to reduce the amount of stress deadlines may cause as a result of procrastination.” Elina Natu, Campbell High School 

“Always give yourself a head start. Not only would it help with downtime, but it comes with plenty of advantages, such as coursework organization and relieving stress. Being a step ahead definitely helps in the long run!” –Lexi Latham-Drain, Cobb Online Learning Academy/Cobb Horizon High Schoo

“My advice to freshmen would be to make sure to get involved and meet new people. High School would have been hard to get through without being involved in clubs and meeting many new friends in different social circles.” –Catherine Varicak, Harrison High School

“The advice that I would give to freshmen would be to stay focused on what you love. Throughout high school, it’s inevitable that you will face many challenges and will want to stop when it gets hard, but you must remember the “why” behind your actions. Hardships are temporary, but you’ll always remember the experiences that make you stronger.” –Siryet Bekele, Hillgrove High School

“You define what fun means to you. The fear of missing out and peer pressure are more subtle and scarier than what you’d expect. Be cautious of herd mentality and be okay with not fitting in. It builds character.” –Kelly Wu, Lassiter High School

“Find your friends and don’t be afraid to be ambitious with your goals!” –Carolyn Wong, Pebblebrook High School

The Cobb valedictorians explained why they feel prepared for life after graduation. 

“I feel very prepared to go to university after high school. The International Baccalaureate program has prepared me to take difficult classes and write many (and different types of) essays, and the experiences I have had throughout high school have given me skills that will help me speak up for myself as necessary. My family has also allowed me to grow in such a manner that has led to me being ready to move out in August.” –Brandon Buchalter, Campbell High School

“There is no question that I am 100% academically prepared for college. I am so fortunate to have gone to a school that pushed me and allowed me to push myself far. Socially, I think high school has taught me a lot of lessons that I’m hoping I’ve learned a lot from. I think I’m ready to go on to college and beyond. Even if I’m not, or doubt my readiness (a lot of the time), I really didn’t feel ready for high school, but I, with help, figured it out alright.” –Claire Isbitts, North Cobb High School

“I feel like I am ready. I learned ample lessons in school that I am ready to utilize in the real world. Additionally, I have gained wisdom from some of the best teachers I’ve had, empowering me to become ready for the real world.”  –Jesus Ortiz, Osborne High School

“I feel like Pope has prepared me for life after high school by offering very challenging courses taught by really great teachers. I feel equipped with the knowledge I have learned at Pope to be able to succeed at GA Tech.” –Bryce Chapin, Pope High School 

I feel like the teachers at Sprayberry helped me prepare for my next steps at college. I am more excited than anything! –Isabella Sternagle, Sprayberry High School

“I definitely feel more than prepared for life after high school, especially since I will be completing a post-secondary education. My completion of the rigorous curriculum at South Cobb’s Medical Magnet Program gave me confidence that I will be able to handle any challenges presented in college.”  –MaCayla Wakefield, South Cobb High School