Atlanta High School Valedictorian Advises Peers To Choose Friends Wisely
By Shelby Lin Erdman • December 1, 2015
Atlanta high school graduate Atia Butts is a prime example of what a senior class valedictorian should be.
“Just anything she just jumps into and does a great job, with student government, leading the class, star student,” Maynard Jackson High School Principal Stephanie S. Johnson explained.
And that’s why Public Broadcasting Atlanta chose the top student, not only as the 2015 Maynard Jackson class valedictorian, but also as an American Graduate Champion.
You always want to have the mindset of succeeding and if you know the people around you are not going down that path then do your best to be nice, be cordial, but distance yourself from those
Johnson described Butts as “our star student and most of all a strong resilient student who bounds through any obstacle that comes her way.”
“I’m just very, very proud of her accomplishments,” she told American Graduate during a recent interview.
One of those accomplishments is earning a 4.0 grade point average throughout her four years in high school.
The top student shared a few tips for success with American Graduate, explaining that one of the most important pieces of advice she could pass on to other students is to choose friends wisely.
“Watch the people that they surround themselves with,” she advised.
Butts entered high school with a group of students who are no longer part of her circle of friends.
“I’m not still surrounded by some of those same people and if I was in a close relationship with them or if I let them influence me, I definitely wouldn’t be sitting here today as valedictorian,” she concluded.
The American Graduate Champion said it’s important to “watch your peers” and “who you keep close to you.”
“You always want to have the mindset of succeeding and if you know the people around you are not going down that path then do your best to be nice, be cordial, but distance yourself from those.”
While making wise choices when it comes to friends can certainly be important for high schoolers, Principal Jackson believes Atia Butts has other qualities that made her a top student and a cut above the rest at Maynard Jackson High and an American Graduate Champion.
“She just takes on any task and goes 100 percent. She gives everything 100 percent.”
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