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Liberty Life Magazine honors top seniors
Long County High School seniors Angel Stritzinger, Terri Bracey and Sydnie Garcia smile together for a photo after being honored at Liberty Life Magazines Top 12 Shining Seniors ceremony Thursday at the Performing Arts Center. Garcia was selected as a top 12 senior and Stritzinger and Bracey were honorable mentions. The event highlighted local students who stood out among their peers in Liberty and Long counties. - photo by Photo by Lawrence Dorsey

Students shined at Liberty Life Magazine’s Top 12 Shining Seniors award ceremony, which honored students for their academic and personal accomplishments.

The event took place Thursday evening at the Performing Arts Center in front of parents, family, school personnel and friends.

Forty-three students were nominated from area schools — Long County High, First Presbyterian Christian Academy, Bradwell Institute and Liberty County High — by teachers, school counselors, coaches and principals. Three seniors from each high school were chosen by an independent committee to be named as the top 12, and the other nominated students were honorable mentions.

All the students were nominated because they stood out from their peers.

Kathryn Fox, business manager for the Coastal Courier, described the task of selecting the top 12 as "a painful process."

"The body of accomplishments by this dynamic group made the final decision very difficult," Fox said. "While they did decide on a final 12, we are compelled to introduce the other nominees in addition to the top 12. They are smart, motivated and peer leaders."

One honorable mention was Alex Smith from Liberty County High. He was nominated by school counselor Debra Morris Reed. Reed described Smith as someone who works very hard, is very diligent and is "willing to go above and beyond to reach his goals. She said Smith drives himself to have a successful future.

The top 12 seniors were chosen for more than their academic achievement and extracurricular activities. They were chosen for being well-rounded students who showed personal growth.

"Not only are they intelligent, hardworking and committed, they have dreams, enormous, lofty goals and they have the plan to make these a reality — from science and medicine, law and policy change, to the arts and filmmaking," Fox said.

Seyedparsa Torabi, top 12 senior from BI, was nominated by school counselor Tamara Bogan. Torabi is originally from Iran and has lived in America for less than one year. He has been able to maintain high academic standards while being immersed in American culture.

"Other students can benefit from this student’s display of humility," Bogan said. "He allows it to guide him in every area of his life and that same trait will lead him to greater heights."

Torabi plans to study chemistry, physics or mathematics for a career in one of the best medicine-making companies in the United States.

The top 12 seniors each received a crystal trophy, certificate and an enlarged photo, created by Xpress Signs, from their photoshoot at Bryant Commons.

The honorable mentions received a certificate.

All seniors received gift bags with donated items from VIP Office Products, U.S. Army Recruiting Station, Savannah Technical College, Zaxby’s, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Liberty Regional Medical Center and the Georgia Department of Labor.

The top 12 seniors did video interviews, answering questions about their motivations, interests, plans and what it feels like to be part of the top 12. Their video played at a reception catered by Occasions after the ceremony.

The event was sponsored by the Coastal Courier and Liberty Life Magazine.

To learn more about the top 12 seniors, watch their videos at, and pick up a copy of the 2017 April/May issue of Liberty Life Magazine.

The Top 12 Shining Seniors for this year are:

Liberty County High

Alyisha Anderson

Lisa McKinney

China Johnson

Bradwell Institute

Evan Crystal

Seyedparsa Torabi

Nathan Wallace

First Presbyterian

Jingyue Wu

Jordan Gilliard

Xavier McCartney

Long County High

James Goober

Savannah Dozier

Sydnie Garcia

Honorable mentions are:

Liberty County High

Breana Knott

Alex Smith

Sidney Wilkinson

Cameron VanHorn

Cameron Reese

Megan Reiley

Jeremiah Johnson-Glenn

Jaalon Frazier

Gregory Allen-Anthony

Chelsey Quinlan

Long County High

Angel Stritzinger

Aleigha Rowan

Terri Bracey

Thomas Gordon

Elexxus Wrighton

Malaka Elix

Breana Harmon

Bradwell Institute

Kamryn Johnson

Calin Ingram

Kelvin Conyers

Dimitri Salgado

Joshua Ingram

Genesis Maldonado-Matos

Marissa Berry

First Presbyterian

Cecilia Graham

Isiah Dickey

Autumn Beasley

Trayvon Harris

John Killough

Victoria Vanbeverhoudt

Mary Whitney

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