Twenty-three students graduated from Piedmont Academy Saturday in a ceremony held on Cougar Field rather than the gym, as the COVID-19 pandemic required social distancing, and only immediate household members were invited.
A special section inside today’s paper salutes all the graduating seniors, even though the public school graduation is not planned until July 24.
Emily Anne Mills gave Piedmont’s valedictory address. Miss Mills had the highest grade point average in the class. Co-salutatorians were Kelsey Leach and Loren Pope. They, along with Gracie Black, Mallory Boyd, Owen Brady, Madison Johnson, MacKensie Johnston, Zach Spivey, Eli Waits and Payton Wallace have been together at Piedmont since kindergarten years.
Headmaster Clint Welch and Chairman of the Board Bryan Bush awarded the diplomas.
On Friday evening before graduation, the seniors had a parade from the school to the recreation department where the students were welcomed by parents, siblings, and others wishing them well.
Several scholarships were also announced at graduation. They include: Charlotte S. Crawley Faculty Scholarship—Emily Mills; Grandparents’ Club Scholarship— Gray Morgan and Loren Pope; Headmaster’s Award— James Farley and Gray Morgan; Jack H. Yearwood Memorial Scholarship—Payton Wallace; Gwen Yearwood Memorial Scholarship—Gracie Black; Outstanding Senior Girl—Morgan Whitley; Outstanding Senior Boy—Zach Spivey
Each graduate’s accomplishments were listed as their names were called to receive their diplomas.
Emily Anne Mills is the daughter of Kim McKee of Land O’Lakes, Fla. and Dennis Mills of Newborn. She is receiving the highest average award for anatomy and physiology and dual enrollment economics, the second highest average for Dual Enrollment (DE) Calculus, and the highest overall average in 12th grade for the 2019-2020 school year. Emily plans to attend the University of Georgia.
Kelsey Diane Leach is the daughter of Dana and David Leach of Monticello. She is receiving the highest average award for DE English 2132 and the second highest average for DE Economics. Kelsey plans to attend the University of Georgia.
Loren Elizabeth Pope is the daughter of Johnna and Donnie Pope of Monticello. She is receiving the second highest average award for Dual Enrollment Economics. Loren plans to attend Georgia College.
Trentin Edward Loyal Coots is the son of Nicole and Ashley Coots out of Jackson. He is receiving the highest average award for Economics. Trent plans to attend Shorter University.
Caleb Nathaniel Coffey is the son of Lenia and Travis Swann of Jackson, and Josh and Sarah Coffey of Beaver Dam, Wisc. Caleb plans to Gordon State College.
James Franklin Farley, Jr. is the son of Terry and Frank Farley of Eatonton. He plans to attend the University of West Georgia.
Morgan Elizabeth Whitley is the daughter of Laurie and Kevin Whitley of Newborn. She is receiving the highest average award for College Algebra. Morgan plans to attend Berry College.
Gracie Jade Black is the daughter of Julie and Alan Black of Hillsboro. Gracie plans to attend Central Georgia Technical College.
Mallory Elizabeth Boyd is the daughter of Kristen and Martin Boyd of Covington. She is receiving the highest average award for Dual Enrollment Calculus and AP Computer Science. Mallory plans to major in mathematics as she attends the College of Coastal Georgia.
Owen Scott Brady is the son of Traci and Scott Brady of Monticello. Owen plans to attend Athens Technical College.
Christi Diane Buffington is the daughter of Kim Buffington and Jeff Duncan of Monticello, and Jennifer and Phillip Buffington of McDonough. Christi plans to attend the University of West Georgia.
Aubrey Michelle Crowe, daughter of Shannon and Mark Crowe of Mansfield. She plans to attend Athens Technical College in order to pursue a career in the medical field.
Jacob Bradley Ferguson is the son of Valerie and Adam Ferguson of Jackson. He is receiving the second highest average award for College Algebra. Jacob plans to attend Middle Georgia State University.
Madison Brooke Johnson is the daughter of Angie and Joe Johnson of Monticello. Madison plans to attend Young Harris College.
MacKensie Grace Johnston is the daughter of Katie and Gene Johnston of Monticello. She is receiving the second highest average award for Dual Enrollment English 2132. Kensie plans to attend Georgia College.
Garrett Judson Kirksey is the son of Jenifer and Jud Kirksey of Monticello. Garrett plans to pursue a career in fire fighting.
Landon Tate Marks is the son of Angie and Rob Marks of Covington. He is receiving the second highest average for 12th English. Tate plans to attend Gordon State College.
Mason Mitchell Mize is the son of Jamie and Mitch Mize of Mansfield. He plans to attend a technical college and earn a degree in electrical work.
Timothy Gray Morgan is the son of Sami and Michael Morgan of Monticello. He plans to attend Life University.
Steven Zachary Spivey is the son of Carrie and Ritchie Spivey of Covington. Zach plans to attend Kennesaw State University.
Eric (Ma-kyle) Makayle Tobler is the son of Jennifer Tobler of Monticello. Eric hopes to attend the University of West Georgia.
Colton Elijah Waits is the son of Stacy and Byron Waits of Hillsboro Georgia. He plans to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
Payton Clarke Wallace is the son of Christie and Casey Wallace of Covington. Payton plans to attend Georgia Southern University