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Johnson, Lee lead LCCHS seniors Saturday

By Sherri Ellington LCCHS Class of 2013 valedictorian A’Ja Johnson and salutatorian Rebekah Lee held a friendly competition ‘“ along with several other of their classmates ‘“ to see who would gain the honors. Both were shocked when they won it. ’I thought I was out of the running completely. If A’Ja didn’t make something I was going to be angry, especially since she took the hardest classes,’ said Lee, adding the competition motivated everyone taking part to do better. ’I had to stop and think when they called my name,’ said Johnson. They and their fellow competitors are also honor graduates, Top Trojans, National Honor Society and Beta Club, among other honors. While Johnson recites a long list of Advanced Placement classes taken at the high school, plus an English credit at Gordon State College, Lee spent all of her senior year at Gordon. ’I did the Move On Ready program and kept all A’s. I made the dean’s list the first semester and should make it this semester,’ she said. ‘I finished a year of college at Gordon. I like to learn history and medically related things. They don’t really go together but I like both of them.’ She will not continue at Gordon but will go to Georgia Southern. Johnson will go to the University of Georgia. Both have already been accepted. Lee and Johnson both plan to go into the medical field. Johnson wants to study pharmaceutical science. Lee plans to be a nurse like her brother Taylor Lee, who is a Class of 2013 member at Georgia Southern. Eventually she would like to become a nurse practitioner. ’All I’ll need to do then is find a small town that needs me,’ she said. ‘He and I both decided we liked nursing. My younger brother is Mason Holmes. He’s 4 and will be staring Pre-K next year when I leave to go to college. Mom’s starting completely over.’ Lee is the daughter of Laura and Jason Holmes and Scott Lee and has lived in Lamar County since she was in Pre-K. She is the granddaughter of Vivian Locke, Linda Holmes, Peggy Lee and Calvin Lee. In her spare time she likes finding new movies to watch and going to concerts. ’I hope to find a summer job. They’re hard to find but I don’t mind babysitting and housecleaning,’ she said. ‘I hope to get a tutoring job at Georgia Southern. I’ve already done some of that at Gordon.’ A Lamar County native, basketball standout Johnson is the daughter of Kerry and Tonya Johnson and the granddaughter of Maurice and Diane Holt, Ann Johnson and Luther Dumas. She also has an older brother, Damian Battle, and has attended Bethel Baptist Church most of her life. Since she worked part time at the Gordon Book Store as part of the youth apprentice program, she hopes to find something similar over summer and when she gets to the UGA. Both already have been assigned dorm rooms. Lee applied for a transfer room and will have a local girl, 2012 graduate Kirsten Hicks, as one of two roommates in a townhouse style apartment. Johnson has already met her roommate, who is from Lithonia. Both like hanging out with friends ‘“ and both are still working on their speeches. ‘Getting the speech together on paper is the hard part’ said Lee. ‘I’ll be reflecting on memories and teachers who inspired me, thanking them and trying not to cry. I’m good at writing papers but making it personal without sounding cheesy is pretty hard. I’m going to go ahead and say I’m sorry if I stumble on my speech. It’s probably going to happen.’ Johnson said she ‘just can’t seem to get it on paper,’ as far as her speech. ’I plan on recounting the good memories I’ve had in my high school career and discussing how hard work, change and growth are all essential to being successful. I need to start writing.’ Graduation attendees should look out for unusual quotes from both girls; they are searching for something unique. ’We don’t want clichés even if it is somebody else’s words,’ said Lee.

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