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Top seniors enjoyed friendly competition

By Kay S. Pedrotti From ninth grade on, Ben and I pushed each other, but we are friends. I know he certainly helped me do my best,’ said 2019 valedictorian Alexandria Hatten about salutatorian Ben Wall. Hatten, better known as ‘Lexi’, is the daughter of local professional photographer Jan Hatten and says valedictorian spot is a truly gratifying honors. Another honor she considers important to her future is having been a Governor’s Honors participant. She also is the STAR student for this year’s senior class. Lexi is an AP scholar ‘“ which means she passed all qualifying tests from advanced classes. Before going to college, she said, she plans to go to several foreign countries on the ‘World Race Gap Year’ program, a learning experience in the year between high school and college. Her trip will take her to Thailand, India and Costa Rica. A recent ‘fun run’ has Hatten on crutches with a bad knee, but she’s determined to heal an do her best. She ran cross country in high school. Hatten is a dual-enrollee at Gordon State College and is in the college’s honors program. She was chosen for the Southern Rivers Washington Youth Tour and most enjoys spending time with family, especially her older sister Victoria (Tori). Hatten’s advice to younger students is, ‘Stay focused, but live a little along the way. My faith also has been very important to me in school.’ She is a member of First Baptist Church of Barnesville. The person outside family that she most looks up to is ‘my best friend Margaret Henry.’ Wall agrees with Hatten’s statement about the competition between the two; ‘it’s been fun,’ he added. The son of Kim and Dr. Bert Wall, he also is a member of First Baptist and has two brothers, his twin, Max and Josh. Ben plans to attend Georgia Tech to study biomedical engineering in a pre-med program, he said. Wall also is an AP scholar. He lettered in varsity soccer and cross country and was twice named ‘most valuable player’ on the swim team. He also has been Top Student numerous times, Lexi reminded him, and is on the Dean’s List as a dual-enrollee at GSC studying organic chemistry. Ben has been Beta Club president twice and a HOSA officer. He loves spending time with his family. Wall advises younger students: ‘Don’t procrastinate! You get out of school what you put in ‘“ effort will get you to your goals.’

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