GA Scholars 2020

Nine Douglas County Seniors Named Elite 2020 Georgia Scholars

Nine students from Alexander High School were among 295 graduating seniors from across Georgia who have been recognized as 2020 Georgia Scholars, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced on May 11.

The Georgia Scholars from Alexander High School are: Caleb Rice, Presley Webb, Joseph Kirkland, Luke Dixon, Clay Shackelford, Alexander Aybar, MaKenna Otten, Eli Harrison and Kennedy Ringer.

Through the Georgia Scholar program, the Georgia Department of Education identifies and honors high school seniors who have achieved excellence in school and community life. Students eligible for Georgia Scholar recognition are high school seniors who exhibit excellence in all phases of school life, in community activities, and in the home.

These students have carried exemplary course loads during their four years of high school; performed excellently in all courses; successfully participated in interscholastic events at their schools and in their communities; and have assumed roles in extracurricular activities sponsored by their schools. Each Georgia Scholar receives a seal for his or her diploma.

“It is always special to recognize a new class of Georgia Scholars, but I have to say it is even more meaningful to recognize these students from the class of 2020,” Superintendent Woods said. “In the face of disappointing circumstances and delayed plans, these students have displayed great resilience, maturity, and grace. I am honored to recognize their accomplishments and wish them well as they proceed into futures that, despite this temporary setback, are still worthy of great hope.”

The Georgia Scholar program is coordinated by GaDOE’s Excellence Recognition office and through local coordinators in each public school system and private schools throughout the state.

Meet our 2020 Georgia Scholars:

Alexander Aybar has been involved in several academic and honor organizations in addition to Show Choir, Marching Band, spring musical and mixed mastery choir at AHS. He lettered in cross country and was recognized as a scholar athlete. Awards include All State Chorus, regional placement in Young Georgia Authors writing competition. He leads worship service at Douglasville First United Methodist Churchand choreographs the annual musicals at Brighten Academy. Alex plans to pursue a degree in musical theatre, with concentrations in playwriting, directing and film.

Luke Dixon played the tuba, and served as section leader for low brass in marching band at AHS. He was a member of the cast in the spring musical “Les Miserables” and has been a member of National Honor Society for two years. Luke received the award of excellence from the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. He will attend the University of Georgia and plans to enter the medical field.

Eli Harrison has participated in the National Honor Society, Hispanic Honor Society, the Douglas County Science Fair and Youth Leadership Douglas. He completed the AP Capstone pathway by passing both the AP Seminar and Research tests. Eli has served as section leader and band captain for two years at AHS and was the first person to make first chair at three different instruments for the Douglas County Honor Band. He was also a member of the University of West Georgia Saxophone Ensemble. Eli plans to attend Georgia Tech.

Joseph Kirkland has been a four year member of the marching and symphonic bands. He is also a member of Liberty Baptist Church in Winston. Joseph plans to attend the University of West Georgia to study mathematics. 

MaKenna Otten played clarinet for all four years of high school and served as drum major the last two years. She worked as stage crew manager for the high school music her junior and senior years. MaKenna will attend the University of Georgia with plans to attend medical school. Her goal is to work as a pediatric neurologist.

Caleb Rice, the STAR Student for AHS, will attend Georgia Tech this fall and plans to major in chemical engineering. Caleb participated in marching band all four years in high school and served as assistant drum major. He also played on the varsity golf team and was a member of BETA Club, National Honor Society and the Math Team.

Kennedy Ringer will attend Vanderbilt University this fall with the goal of becoming a surgeon. At AHS, she served as president of both HOSA and the Creative Writing Club and treasurer of the Hispanic Honor Society. She was also a member of Key Club, BETA, National Honor Society and Chick-fil-A Leader Academy. This year, she completed an internship with Peachtree Immediate Care, where she gained hands-on experience in the health field.

Clay Shackelford is in National Honor Society, BETA Club and played varsity soccer at AHS. He participated in Youth Leadership Douglas and competed in Douglas County’s foreign language competition. Clay serves in a leadership role in the youth program at Central Baptist Church. He will attend the University of Georgia where he will major in business.

Presley Webb has a passion for writing and plans a career in screenwriting. She will attend Emerson College in Boston this fall where she will study media arts production with a focus on writing for film and television. At AHS, Presley set a county record by winning the Young Georgia Authors competition for three years, served as editor of the 2020 yearbook, performed in chorus and the spring musical, and served as head manager and videographer for the football team. She will graduate in the top 5% of her class.


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