DASHER -- Georgia Christian School's valedictorian this year is a self-described sports enthusiast. In fact, the 18-year-old son of Harold and Mary Jo Norman plans to attend Shorter College in Rome this fall on a soccer scholarship.

"My goal throughout school has always been simply to do well," said Samuel Norman of Dasher. "I was not necessarily focused on becoming valedictorian. Of course, grades have always been important to me, but my focus was on sports."

Besides soccer, he also plays basketball and football.

At Shorter College, Norman will study psychology. Eventually, he would like to attend law school and run for political office.

At Georgia Christian School, Norman was a member of the Interact Club and chorus. In his spare time, he assists Habitat for Humanity in its mission to eliminate substandard housing.

For Georgia Christian School's salutatorian, things happened a little differently. She wanted to be the best.

"I worked hard throughout the school," said Dafina Ife Shearry, 17, of Lake Park.

"Being the top of my graduating class was a huge motivating factor for me."

The daughter of Frankie and Coretha Shearry plans to attend Ft. Valley State University this fall where she will pursue a degree in biology. Her dream is to become a pediatrician.

At Georgia Christian, Shearry was a member of the Interact Club, the cheerleading squad, the soccer team and the chorus. She has served her community as a member of Park Avenue Bank's Student Advisory Board.

Norman and Shearry will lead their fellow graduates during a 7 p.m. May 21 commencement ceremony in the school's gymnasium.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call 244-3400, ext. 255.

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