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Top of class
2 Val Sal announced pic
Valedictorian and STAR Student Daniel Bettis, left, reads through a book while Salutatorian Jeri Ward looks on. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

The scores are in and totals tallied for Dawson County High School's class of 2015's valedictorian and salutatorian.

Daniel Bettis has been named valedictorian, while Jeri Ward has been announced as salutatorian.

Bettis is also the STAR Student for Dawson County this year.

"I was in a frenzy to leave that day, actually. I was trying to check out early for an appointment when Mrs. Poss told me," Bettis said. "I was really surprised."

It was Bettis' hard work that earned him both accolades.

"I feel like I've worked hard and done everything I should have done to earn this," he said.

Bettis said that he wasn't really trying to be top of his class, but it's something that he was mindful of, at the same time.

"It's been something in the back of my mind, but not necessarily something I've been aiming for," he said.

Bettis plans to attend the University of Georgia after graduation.

"I'm thinking I'm going to study finance, but I don't know yet. I'm also thinking about education. Afterwards, though, I want to go to law school at UGA."

School counselor Marjorie Poss said the scores were close between the two this year.

"The scores were pretty close," she said. "They may not be the closest we've had, but they have both done excellent jobs with their grades."

Salutatorian Ward said she was happy to hear the outcome, despite coming in under Bettis.

"I was excited when I found out that I was salutatorian," she said. "I've been trying since tenth grade to make it to the top of the class."

Ward plans to attend the University of North Georgia for accounting.

"I'm going to be somewhere in accounting, maybe accounts payable with a big company or maybe the head of an accounting company," she said.

Poss said that both of the students were a boon to their soon-to-be alma mater.

"These are great students," Poss said. "They are interested in a variety of different things and they make a huge difference here at Dawson County High School."