Valedictorians, salutatorians in Cherokee named
by Michelle Babcock
May 22, 2013 12:00 AM | 3880 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Raj Patel, valedictorian of River Ridge High School’s first graduating class, with a robot he built. The robot is named WanderBot because the name ‘reflects its nature when exposed to a room filled with obstacles,’ Patel said.
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Special to the Tribune
Raj Patel, valedictorian of River Ridge High School’s first graduating class, with a robot he built. The robot is named WanderBot because the name ‘reflects its nature when exposed to a room filled with obstacles,’ Patel said.
Special to the Tribune
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The announcement of Cherokee County’s high school valedictorians and salutatorians includes honorees from River Ridge High School’s first graduating class.

The Cherokee County School District honored the 2013 valedictorians and salutatorians at its 13th annual Scholars Recognition Banquet on Tuesday night. Valedictorians are: Cherokee High School, Jebb Ricketts; Creekview High School, Victoria Cochran; Etowah High School, Madison Miracle; River Ridge High School, Raj Patel; Sequoyah High School, Margaret Hartman; and Woodstock High School, Sara Graf.

Salutatorians are: Cherokee High School, Taylor Wilson; Creekview High School, Kasey Perrin; Etowah High School, Ahila Manivannan; River Ridge High School, Ian Donn; Sequoyah High School, Anna King; and Woodstock High School, Joshua Chang.

Patel is River Ridge’s first valedictorian and said he plans to pursue a degree in computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he will start classes this fall. Patel said he’d also like to get a master’s degree in computer electrical engineering from Georgia Tech.

“It’s very humbling to be valedictorian of the first graduating class,” Patel said. “It feels nice to be able to set the standard for the following classes.”

Patel said he has lived in Woodstock for about 12 years and attended Dean Rusk Middle School. The senior said he had many unexpected experiences and is glad he went to River Ridge because “it’s a great school and all of the administrators and staff are very nice people and provide a very good learning experience for all the students.”

Patel took 12 AP classes at River Ridge and said he passed all of his exams.

He participated in the Science Olympiad team for three years and said they won second in the regional competition tournament for the robotic arm event. For his senior project, Patel made an autonomous robot.

He also participated on the Math Team for four years and was president for the Math Honors Society his last year. Patel said he’s written a speech for the River Ridge graduation ceremony this Thursday.

Donn, River Ridge’s salutatorian, said that becoming salutatorian “took a lot of effort,” and the most meaningful thing to happen to him is getting into Georgia Tech, which he also plans to attend.
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