TIFTON - Emily McGill was named Tift County High School's valedictorian for 2002 Monday, and Bailey Guest was named salutatorian.

At a ceremony at TCHS, Principal Mike Duck also announced that Andrew Leidner is this year's STAR student. Andrew named English teacher Deborah Salter STAR teacher.

"It's the easiest part of my job to introduce these people," Duck said. "...They are example by which we can all strive to achieve."

STAR honors go to the student with the highest SAT score, while the valedictorian has the highest grade point average in his or her class. The salutatorian has the second highest GPA.

Emily, the daughter of Mark and Myra McGill, is an active member of student council, the Beta, Spanish, Y, Anchor, Physics and Science clubs, the TCHS Chorus and was a member of the TCHS yearbook staff.

She is an active member of the First United Methodist youth group, attends a weekly all-girls Bible study, has been a member of the altar guild and has helped lead "The Potter's Hands" puppet ministry. She teaches a Bible study for seventh and eighth-grade girls and is a member of the CHALLENGE team, a youth leadership team at First Methodist.

She received the Citizenship Award, Biology Award, English Award and Student of the Month - all while in the ninth grade.

At TCHS, she has been nominated twice for Who's Who Among American High School Students, was Student of the Week each of her three years, was inducted into the National Spanish Honors Society, was the U.S. Senate Program nominee and a Presidential Classroom invitee, consistently earned superior honor roll status and was voted a Senior Superlative and "Most Likely to Succeed" by the Class of 2002.

She plans to attend Abraham Baldwin College with an undeclared major.

Bailey, son of Dr. William and Brenda Guest, is a member of Beta Club and Spanish Club, previously participated in baseball and basketball, did filming and editing for Channel 8 and served as a tutor.

He was inducted into the National Spanish Honors Society, was a Governor's Honors Program nominee in the area of math, was TCHS Intern of the Year, is a superior honor student and was voted "Most Outstanding Senior" by the TCHS faculty and "Most Likely to Succeed" by the Class of 2002.

He is an American Red Cross volunteer and serves as a Big Brother in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, where he was named "Big Buddy of the Year."

He is undecided in his choice of a college and major, but will probably major in math or science.

Andrew, son of John and Mary Leidner, is a member of 4-H, Anchor Club, Beta Club, the Literary Team and has been a member of the soccer team.

He received the ninth-grade Economics Department Award and is a superior honor student, a 4-H DPA winner and state winner, a member of the 4-H land judging and poultry teams and a Governor's Honors Program nominee.

He is employed as a student worker at the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL). He plans to attend the University of Georgia but is undecided about his major.

Salter, a two-time STAR teacher, is a graduate of Valdosta State University and has been teaching English for nine years. She began her teaching career at Irwin County High School, then transferred to TCHS eight years ago. She serves as the Literary Team coordinator.

To contact city editor Florence Rankin, call 382-4321, ext. 209.

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