NEWLAND — As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced numerous schools to alter their graduation exercises and procedures, one specific group of standout Avery High School students also has seen its graduation role and recognition affected.

At each year’s high school commencement, marshals play a significant role in the ceremony. Comprised of the top academic performers in the high school’s 11th grade student body, Junior Marshals serve to escort senior graduates during the pomp and circumstance of the high school graduation event and are recognized with the honor for their own excellence as they prepare to embark upon their own final year of high school.

The following students were selected as Junior Marshals for the 2019-2020 graduating class, with listings of some of their sterling accomplishments:

Emma Aladria Helena Kitchin NCSAS Regional Science Fair — 1st place (x4), NCSAS Regional Science Fair — 2nd place, NCSEF Regional Science Fair — 1st x5, NCSAS State Science Fair — 1st place, NCSAS State Science Fair — 2nd place, NCSEF State Science Fair — Honorable Mention (2x), NCSEF US Army Environmental Science — 1st Place, NCSEF — USDA-ARS Award — 2nd place, NCSEF — NCAWWA-WEA — 1st place, AEOP-JSHS-8th place, AEOP — JSHS — 7th Place, AEOP — JSHS — 2nd Place, AEOP — NJSHS — 4th Place, AEOP — JSHS Project Mentor and Guest Speaker (2x), Genius Olympiad National — Honorable Mention (2x), Regional Envirothon — 3rd place, Regional Envirothon — 4th place, State Envirothon-14th place, NC Regional Science Olympiad — 1st Place x3, NC Regional Science Olympiad-1st Place, FFA — Greenhand Degree, FFA — Chapter Degree, Laurie Oates Service Award, BETA Club- Lead Outside the Box National Qualifier, Key Club Carolinas District-Extemporaneous Essay-1st Place, Varsity Letter — Women’s Tennis, Varsity Letter-Coed Swim, Interactive Theater Charity Performance, Key Club — Distinguished Service Award (Over 150 hours), Head of the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Fundraisers (2x), Co-head of the March of Dimes Fundraisers (2x)

Penelope Rose Brocco — A-Honor Roll student for every semester while working a part-time job and playing a sport every season

Thomas Gatewood — Beta Club, Varsity Soccer

David McCollum “A” Honor Roll, Junior Varsity and Varsity basketball, Track & Field (All Western Highlands Conference, state qualifier), North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Salute To Student-Athlete Program Attendee

Joshua Alexander Hernandez — Beta Club, A-Honor Roll

Lilly Grae Markland — Avery High Environmental Club Secretary, Avery High Senior Beta Club Vice President, Avery High Key Club Secretary and Treasurer, Avery High Marching Band First Chair Mellophone, Band Council President, Alto Section Leader, Avery High Concert Band First Chair French Horn, Online Ambassador with North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Ambassador with National Society of High School Scholars, Member of United in Christ, Member of Fellowship of Christian Athletics, Member of Prom Committee, Varsity Lady Viking Soccer, Lady Viking Tennis, Varsity Science Olympiad Competitor — Regional Competition, Army Education Outreach Program Competitor — Regional Competition, Envirothon Competitor — Regional and State Competition, NC Student Academy of Science Competitor — Regional and State (3x), NC North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair Competitor — Regional and State (3x), World Food Prize Competitor — Regional, Mayland Academic Honors (2x), Semester Scholar Athlete, Elite Viking, Adopt-a-Highway Program — Adopted own road (4 miles), Member of Montreat Scottish Pipes and Drums (tenor drummer), Avery County Cloggers, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Attendee

Mary Ann Johnson — A average, FFA officer, volunteer at church, member of Student Council

Emma Bentley — Beta president, member of ski club, tennis team, and captain of swim team, Dual enrollment with NC school of Science and Mathematics, Certified lifeguard who lifeguards at Linville Land Harbor, member of Student Council

Adrianna Victoria Brookshire — Ladies Varsity Golf Team, Beta Club, SkillsUSA, tied for fourth in class rank, A honor roll, Elite Viking Award, varsity women’s golf team, a 1A/2A regional qualifier for all three years and a 1A/2A state championship qualifier (2x), 1A/2A team regional golf champion, dual enrollment student at Mayland Community College

Abigail Johnson — More than 2 years of volunteer service at Avery Animal Hospital, Participation in Rolling Academy Leadership expedition with Mountain Alliance, Lots of volunteering (Cleaning rivers, cleaning up community gardens, stocking food banks) with Mountain Alliance, Recipient of the Laurie Oates Service Award (8 or more hours of service) through Mountain Alliance, Member of Avery County Environmental Club, Member of Beta Club.

Lillian Perez-Cornatzer — Soccer and Cross Country, BETA Club, Spanish Club, Skills USA, and Key Club, Honor Roll and Riley Howell Service Award, Worked at the spa at Eseeola and babysitting

Reagan Elizabeth Hughes — Fields Family Scholarship recipient, 4.672 weighted GPA maintained while playing four sports, Student Council President, Key Club Secretary, Spanish Club, Link Crew, BETA Club, Skills USA, Varsity Volleyball, JV and Varsity basketball, Varsity soccer, track and field (two years), Academic Excellence Award for APUSH and Spanish 4, A-Honor Roll (3 years), lettered in four sports, Elite Viking Award

Keigan Rylee Coleman — First Baptist Church of Pinehurst Mission Team, Cross Country, Track, Avery High School Environmental Club, Shelton Leadership Challenge, SkillsUSA Engineering Design, SkillsUSA 3D Modeling

Kennedy Bindlechner Tennis team, “A” Honor Roll (3 years), Spanish Club, Skills USA, BETA Club, babysitting and dog care.

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