By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
The best in class
System names salutatorian, valedictorian for this year
3 Chris Hamby Valedictorian
Chris Hamby, valedictorian of Dawson County High Schools class of 2014, listens to a lesson on agriculture from teacher Eric Hickox. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

Chris Hamby has been named the valedictorian and Kara Hafermalz the salutatorian for Dawson County High School's class of 2014.

"It's one of those things where I thought, ‘If I get it, great.' But I was just going to try my best in all of my classes and, if it shakes out, that's great. And if it doesn't, that's fine, too," Hamby said. "It just kind of fell into place."

For Hafermalz, it's something she's been shooting for since the beginning of high school.

"I've been working towards it since freshman year," she said. "I've always been one to study. I've never liked to get low grades and I've always tried to get high A's."

Both students are heavily involved in organizations at the high school.

Hamby is the vice president and former chaplain of the Future Farmers of America and a member of the student government association. He is a former member of the Future Business Leaders of America.

Hafermalz is an officer in the Future Business Leaders of America, the vice president of the school's Y Club and a member of the Beta Club and National Honor Society. She is also a former member of the student government association.

According to counselor Marjorie Poss, the fight for first was close.

"While I can't give out either of their grades, I can say it was very, very close," she said. "They both did phenomenal."

Hamby also believes the race was tight.

"I think the number difference was only around half a point," he said of their grade-point averages. "I don't know the numerical value, but I know it wasn't much."

But a close second isn't any reason for Hafermalz to be disappointed.

"I was excited to be named salutatorian," she said. "It really is an honor."

According to Hamby, both he and Hafermalz, along with the rest of the senior class, worked hard throughout their high school careers.

"It's been a great community in the classes here at Dawson County and it's a great school. Everybody works hard and together and here we are," he said, "Everybody did well. We have the largest honor class this year since 1990."

Both Hamby and Hafermalz have their next step in life lined up.

"I've been accepted to the University of North Georgia, where I'll go for the next year or two to get my core classes in, and then transfer to Georgia Tech," Hamby said. "I'm looking into computer science and coding."

Hafermalz has plans in a different field.

"I'm going to [the University of Georgia] and major in psychology," she said. "Then I want to go to law school and become a criminal lawyer."

The two will join the rest of the class of 2014 for graduation at 8:30 a.m. May 24 on the high school's football field.