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WATCH: School staff shows up at Walton High student’s door bearing good news

BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE

Atlanta, GA, May 16, 2020: Little did Anant Rajan, a Senior at Walton High School know that a grand surprise awaited him as he answered the doorbell on a COVID afternoon, May 15, 2020. Expecting a home delivery, as most of us do in recent times, Anant was astounded to find his school principal Dr. Catherine Mallanda, the counselor Ms. Tina Harwood, and his favorite teacher, Ms. Hannah Burwell at the door. They came bearing good news. Very good news. He was declared the school valedictorian!

Anant Rajan holds the highest GPA of 4.817 among 14 students from high schools in East Cobb, says East Cobb News. The Cobb County School District on Friday released the Class of 2020 valedictorians and salutatorians. The district said that the average grade-point average for a Cobb valedictorian is about 4.67 and for salutatorians it’s about 4.53. Valedictorians from two Cobb high schools posted GPAs higher than 4.8.

Rajan is headed to Harvard to study biology in the fall 2020. “I am very interested in working in the medical field, specifically in becoming a neurosurgeon and curing cancer. I am also interested in the law; I am president of Walton’s Mock Trial team and have won 12 ‘Best Attorney’awards in the 16 rounds in which I have participated,” said Rajan.

Apart from the multiple awards he has staked his claim to, including being National Merit Scholar Winner, National AP Scholar, and Harvard Book Award winner, among others, Rajan was also recognized as the Star Awardee, Georgia Scholar and National Merit Scholarship Winner. He was among the 295 graduating seniors from across Georgia who were recognized as 2020 Georgia Scholars, on May 11, 2020. Through the Georgia Scholar program, the Georgia Department of Education identifies and honors high school seniors who have achieved excellence in school and community life. These students have carried exemplary course loads during their four years of high school; performed excellently in all courses; successfully participated in interscholastic events at their schools and in their communities; and have assumed roles in extracurricular activities sponsored by their schools. Each Georgia Scholar receives a seal for his or her diploma.

The multi-talented Rajan speaks eight languages including Tamil, Hindi, English, French, Italian, Russian, Greek and German fluently. He plays the clarinet and Indian drums, and proficient in the classical Indian dance, Bharatanatyam, and classical Indian Carnatic music. He is ready for Arangetram, the solo performance graduation concert. He has signed with John Casablancas Modeling and Actin to take classes, act around Metro Atlanta in various TV shows, films, and advertisements. He was selected to go to the Model Talent Expo in Houston in March for the opportunity to be signed to multiple large agencies, such as New York Models, Disney, or Premier. Amongst other volunteering assignments, Rajan, Students of the Year, with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) leading a team of students and adults, has raised close to $30,000 for the cause.

“We are very happy and proud of Anant’s achievements. His hard work, effort, focus and dedication has paid him well. Truly, we thank God for showering his blessings on him and keeping him focused on his goals in life – he wants to find cure for cancer and that’s been his dream. We want to thank Ms. Bezi Jones of Noble World Montessori, Mr. Kevin Tilley, Mr. Dennis McElhaney, and Dr. Holly Martin of The Walker School, Ms. Christina Harwood (Counselor), Ms. Hannah Burwell, Mr. Doug Wolfe and Dr. Catherine Mallanda ( Principal) of Walton High School for being a major influence in his school life,” said proud mom Bhavini Subramani.

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