The AJC wants to celebrate metro Atlanta’s high school valedictorians

Graduation ceremonies across the world have been delayed or cancelled as efforts continue to learn more about the coronavirus and slow its spread.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wants to celebrate the best of metro Atlanta’s graduating seniors in projects to be presented both online and in the newspaper, including words of wisdom from the region’s valedictorians.

Across metro Atlanta, districts have made tentative plans to host ceremonies of some sort in late June or July. Atlanta Public Schools is seeking feedback on how it should hold graduation ceremonies, with one option to hold ceremonies at a drive-in theater in May.

By then, many of the region’s seniors will be shifting gears toward college, learning when they can move into dorm rooms and when classes will finally begin.

Each year, The AJC highlights top students from across metro Atlanta. Given the nature of the pandemic, which has led to school buildings being shut and graduations upended, The AJC wanted to give valedictorians space to give their speeches around the time classes end.

For this project, The AJC is asking valedictorians to send an email to including a portrait (graduation photos are preferred), a two-minute graduation speech (shot landscape, with a phone tilted on its side to avoid blank space) and the following information:

  • Name
  • Age
  • High School
  • Extracurricular activities
  • College
  • Intended major/area of study
  • Advice to other high school students

The project is open to students from private schools, state charter schools and school districts in Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties. The deadline for the information will be May 4, 2020.