Salutatorian-Aidan Mowery

Kaitlyn Baty, Staff Writer

Salutatorian is an academic honor given to the second highest ranking in each graduating class. For the class of 2023, Aidan Mowery was named salutatorian. Mowery attended the awards ceremony for the Georgia Certificate of Merit, where he was able to see the potential candidates for valedictorian and salutatorian. Being one of the candidates he had a slight expectation that he would be towards the top of the ranking, but it was still a surprise to receive such an admirable honor.

At graduation, the valedictorian and the salutatorian deliver a speech that they personally write. Mowery has not started writing his speech yet, however, he has started thinking of how he wants to deliver it and what his overall message is. After graduation, his main focus is college and deciding on a major. He will attend Furman University, located in South Carolina. When discussing his collegiate future, Mowery said, “Go Paladins!” which is Furman’s mascot. Mowery’s most influential teachers have been Mrs.Ratledge and Mrs.Dougherty. Mowery said, “Mrs.Ratledge challenges me on an intellectual level. I really like history, and she’s always making sure I’m putting in as much effort as I can. Mrs.Dougherty is influential to me because she encourages people to be creative and has inspired me to approach not just art but larger things and gives me a unique perspective that not everyone would assume.” Mowery feels that the work ethic and creativity encouraged by his teachers have helped him tremendously throughout his high school career to become the salutatorian of his class.

Some major accomplishments that he believes he has made throughout his high school career include going to the state for the technology competition his freshman year and the literary competition his junior and senior years. This year and last year, he attended the academic decathlon state competition where Armuchee High School placed third in their division this year, which will be followed by competing for nationals. On top of his academic achievements, he also played tennis all four years of high school. He believes one of his greatest accomplishments was last year when he played tennis singles and won a match by himself. Mowery said, “It was really tense. It went to a tie-breaker. We ended up pulling out with a score of 16-14. It felt very accomplishing because it felt like all the work I’ve put in over the years had finally paid off.” 

Advice Mowery would give to upcoming seniors is to continue putting in the greatest effort possible. Mowery said, “You know when you get to senior year a lot of students just coast off of Quizlet and I think that maintaining that work ethic from the junior and sophomore year is important. You’ve built yourself up to this position, so you just have those last bricks to lay in order to get salutatorian or valedictorian or anywhere high in those rankings.” Salutatorian is an honorable position and is a title not easily earned. Through academic grit and a strong work ethic, Mowery has achieved this position which he will hold for the rest of his life.