John Gogick

Executive Editor for The Augusta Chronicle. | E-mail

Take time to treasure graduates' successes

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Births. Deaths. Wed­dings. High school graduations. Four traditional ways to get your name in the paper.

Four traditional ways the life of our community marks its milestones.

Four traditional moments to find the names of friends and neighbors, take out the scissors, cut out the article and give it to them.

Next Sunday’s paper will feature our annual special section listing the names of the high school seniors who have reached that milestone moment. The section includes the valedictorians and salutatorians, too.

For more than a decade, the section has been called the “Best and Brightest” for the award The Augusta Chronicle, with help of generous sponsors such as Geor­gia Regents University, hands out to honor the area’s top high school seniors.

They get publicity, a banquet and their profile in the newspaper. The winner also gets $1,000.

The front page of Fri­day’s newspaper featured North Augusta High School senior Daniel Pippen – the 2013 Best and Brightest winner.

A highly edited version of Pippen’s accomplishments and activities: varsity football, Fellowship of Chris­tian Athletes, Na­tion­al Honor Society, Na­tion­al So­ciety of High School Scho­lars, West Point Lea­der­ship Award, Com­mu­nity Min­is­tries of North Augusta food drive, feeding the homeless with First Baptist Church.

What set him apart from the other worthy finalists, one judge said, was that Pippen was “a great all-around person.” He plans to attend the University of Mich­igan and major in chemical engineering and minor in business management.

Pippen delivered a handwritten thank-you note to The Chron­icle and the judges Friday afternoon. His note mentioned the many people who saw the article and congratulated him.

So, next Sunday, read the profiles of Pippen and the 20 other finalists. A cursory glance reveals these young scholars are newsworthy and noteworthy for their academic achievements. But their contributions to our community through service and involvement are inspiring.

And they keep inspiring.

Such as Lakeside High School graduate Anant Mandawat, the 2004 Best and Brightest award winner. He writes a column once a month for the Sunday Your Life section of The Chronicle.

When offering his services, Dr. Mandawat wrote:

“I am a physician at Har­vard who grew up in Augusta and went to Yale Medical School.

“I am grateful to have been the Augusta Chronicle’s Best & Brightest winner in 2004.

“I would like to write a monthly article describing new medical research and its relevance to the general public. My plan is to translate a monthly cutting-edge medical paper into common language understandable to your non-medical readers.

“I would like to do this as a way to give back to my hometown for helping me get where I am.”


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