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Tinsley and Little named top of class
A-Val Sal pic3
Dana Little and Sarah Tinsley were named salutatorian and valedictorian for the 2016 graduating class at Dawson County High School. They have been friends since they were freshmen. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

Sarah Tinsley achieved another goal.

She was not surprised, but relieved to hear she'd been named Dawson County High School's Valedictorian of the 2016 graduating class.

"That was my goal since elementary school," Tinsley said of the honor.

Tinsley's friend and classmate Dana Little took the second spot by .018 of a point. Tinsley's grade point average ended at 4.357 while Little's was 4.339.

What was not a big surprise for Tinsley was exactly that for the salutatorian.

"I had no idea. Sarah texted me one day and said I have something important to tell you. I was like what?" Little said.

Tinsley wanted to tell Little in person.

"She told me when we were in class one day. I didn't know I was even close," Little said.

The two have been friends since they met running cross country as freshmen. Tinsley eventually gave up cross country because it conflicted with band.

Little continued both cross country and track. This year she finished sixth at sectionals in the pole vault and advanced to the state meet.

Tinsley stayed with band where she became drum major. She plays trombone, baritone and piano among other instruments.

"I am also really involved with the Spanish organization, Spanish Honor Society and then also very involved ... with the Juniorettes, which is service based," Tinsley said.

This year's STAR student, Tinsley scored a 2,160 out of a possible 2,400 on her SAT and recently found out she has been accepted into the honors program at Georgia Tech, where she will begin in the liberal arts program this fall. She is considering a program that encompasses Spanish and international affairs.

"I would love to study abroad," Tinsley said.

Little was also a part of the Spanish National Honor Society and will attend Kennesaw State's Marietta campus next year in their honors program.

"I think I want to do something like computer science or engineering maybe," she said.

"I have been in TSA (Technology Student Association) for a while, it's pretty cool. Mr. [Dale] Auten, he has the laser engravers and he just got 3-D printers too," Little said.

Though Little says she has not yet used one of the 3-D printers at the high school, she has used the one at home that her dad John built himself.

Little is also heavily involved in scouting.

"I have been in scouts since kindergarten. It's my 13th year in Girl Scouts. I am in Venturing, too. It's a branch of Boy Scouts, but it's co-ed. We do high adventure stuff, like go camping and climbing," Little said.

Tinsley and Little will graduate with the rest of the senior class at 8:30 a.m. May 21 at Tiger Stadium.