Here are your 2015 Bulloch County schools valedictorians.
Bible Baptist – Kelsey Williams
Bible Baptists Christian Academy valedictorian Kelsey Williams has always wanted to work in medicine, so after graduation, she will attend classes at East Georgia College in pursuit of becoming a registered nurse.
The 18-year-old daughter of Larry and Judy Williams is an only child, and has attended Bible Baptist since kindergarten.
Charter Conservatory – Candace Widener
Candace Widener, valedictorian of the 2015 graduating class of Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology, has demonstrated leadership on campus and throughout the community.
For Friday’s ceremony, she planned to talk to her schoolmates and their guests about striving for excellence.
Widener is the 18-year-old daughter of Tasha and Roger Evans of Screven County. Having attended Screven County’s schools beginning in second grade, she was a Screven County High School student before going to Charter Conservatory for 10th–12th grades.
Southeast Bulloch High – Lauren Boddiford
If you had to choose between singing at Carnegie Hall or being named valedictorian of your senior class, which would you choose? It is not a choice that Southeast Bulloch High School valedictorian Lauren Boddiford had to make. She achieved both and is also her school’s STAR student.
Just five weeks ago, she stood on the stage of Carnegie Hall’s famed Stern Auditorium and sang alto with the SEBHS Advanced Chorus. The performance of a lifetime, Boddiford and her fellow 60-plus-chorus members impressed the judges and clinicians with their difficult, college-level selections. Boddiford was selected for the Georgia Music Educators Association’s All-State Chorus her sophomore, junior and senior years and was a member of the Region 1-AAA First-Place Girls Trio in 2013.
Boddiford is an equally talented pianist, continuing a family tradition. “My mom is the pianist and my grandmother is the organist at Old Fellowship Baptist Church in Stilson.” In fact Lauren’s maternal greatgrandmother, Ida Groover was a pianist here too, and Lauren is a substitute pianist there. That makes four generations and nearly 100 years that her family as served the church with their musical talents.
Trinity Christian School – Will Lattner
Trinity Christian School has been home for valedictorian Will Lattner ever since kindergarten. Now 18, Lattner is looking forward to attending Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where he hopes to major in English.
He will follow his parents’ footsteps in attending the college and has received several scholarships, including some from Covenant College and one for winning the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Essay contest in Bulloch County. The essay was about history, and “learning from the past and looking towards the future.”
Lattner is interested in writing for news and research publications such as World Magazine. He said he has always enjoyed writing.
The son of David (Trinity’s headmaster) and Lori Lattner, the Statesboro senior has two brothers who also attend Trinity. Lattner is an Eagle Scout and enjoys basketball, soccer and watching movies and sports with friends.
Bulloch Academy – Cody Lanier
Bulloch Academy valedictorian Cody Rowan Lanier is looking forward to the freedom and independence that college life brings. “I want to find out what I am supposed to do with my life,” said the 18-year-old son of Jeff and Janet Lanier. “I am looking forward to meeting new people as well. I am also hoping to find my passion.”
Armed with a Zell Miller Scholarship, an ACE Worldwide Scholarship and a University of Georgia Charter Scholarship, it was a toss-up between two in-state rivals as to where Lanier would try to find that passion. “I had trouble deciding which college to attend and what I wanted to do once I got there,” he said. “Because math is my strongest subject, I thought about engineering. I looked really hard at Georgia Tech. But I thought Georgia would give me more options.”
Portal High School – Martha “Mattie” Braselton
Portal Middle High School valedictorian Mattie Braselton is a great admirer of Stephen Hawking. The accomplished theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author once said, “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” Once you meet Mattie, you realize that she easily could have spoken these same words.
She has found a way to succeed academically throughout her middle and high school careers, and she is already succeeding in college as well. By taking advantage of the dual enrollment agreement between the school system and Georgia Southern, Braselton is already a college sophomore before she ever graduates from high school. She was selected for GSU’s honors program and is the recipient of three of the university’s available scholarships: H.C. Zelma Bland Scholarship, President’s Scholarship and the On Campus Housing Award.
She is majoring in chemistry/pre-pharmacy and dietetics with a minor in math, and plans to either be a pharmacist or pursue a career in academia. With a 4.0 average in her college coursework, she’s already been selected to be a teaching assistant in GSU’s Department of Chemistry.
Statesboro High School – Anji Li
“Do what you are supposed to do and good things will come”: The simple yet effective motto of Statesboro High School valedictorian Anji Li who graduated at the top of her 357-member senior class this weekend.
The daughter of LiLi Li, an associate professor and e-information services librarian at Georgia Southern University, and his wife, Mingfang Tang, Anji is the older of their two children. Her sister, Anyuan Li, is a rising junior at SHS.
The Li family made Statesboro home five years ago after relocating from Lawrenceville. LiLi came to America in 1989, to attend the University of Southern Mississippi’s library graduate school, and his wife came in 1996. Anji and her sister were both born in the United States, but their parents are originally from Shanghai, China. The girls benefit from having a bilingual family that speaks Mandarian and English.
Though it is too far away for Anji’s grandparents to make the trip from China for her graduation, she will visit them there this summer before she begins classes at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Anji is majoring in engineering, but is keeping her options open for now on what branch.