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Top students reflect on past, future
by Nicole Dow
May 14, 2014 10:25 AM | 1177 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Centennial High School’s valedictorian Dorothy Cannella and salutatorian Matthew Harries have put in the work, made the grades and are now preparing to graduate as the top-ranked students in their senior class.

“We worked really hard for it, so it’s really nice to have achieved something,” Cannella said.

“It was worth the hard work,” Harries said. “It was rewarding.”

Cannella, the 17-year-old daughter of Anne and Gene Cannella, of Roswell, said she entered high school with the goal to make sure her academic performance kept her at the top of her class.

“My sister was valedictorian three years ago,” she said. “Also I’m pretty competitive, so I was already comparing grades with people from middle school.”

Eighteen-year-old Harries, the son of Michael and Diann Harries, of Alpharetta, said the news that he was this year’s salutatorian caught him off guard.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” he said. “I just tried to do as well as I could in school and just enjoy it.”

Both students had course loads scattered with Advanced Placement courses throughout their four years and said their AP courses in calculus and physics were their favorite classes.

In addition to their school work, both have been involved in various extracurricular activities. Cannella joined the school fencing club and a national fencing league, danced jazz and contemporary, worked at Mathnasium as a math instructor and tutored math privately. Harries has played football and basketball, is an Eagle Scout and leads his church youth group.

In the fall, Cannella will be attending Georgia Tech.

“I always wanted to go to Georgia Tech, because my family basically all went to Georgia Tech,” she said. “That was my top choice.”

She plans to double major in business management and computer science and then hopes to get her masters in business administration from Stanford University.

Harries will be spending his first two years out of high school doing church mission work in Santiago, Chile.

“I was planning that since I was a little kid,” he said.

After his mission work, Harries plans to attend Brigham Young University for undergraduate studies.

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