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home : archive : archive June 29, 2022

6/16/2022 1:40:00 PM
Northern Guilford High School
Valedictorian, Salutatorian
Abigail (Abby) Lynn Mulry, valedictorian
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Abigail (Abby) Lynn Mulry, valedictorian
Clay Christopher Parr, salutatorian
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Clay Christopher Parr, salutatorian

Abigail (Abby) Lynn Mulry, valedictorian

When introducing Abby Mulry, Northern Guilford and North Carolina Teacher of the Year Leah Carper told those present that life is full of uncertainties which require determination, a sense of adventure and resilience.

"Northern Guilford High School's valedictorian, Abigail (Abby) Mulry, embraces these principles," Carper said. "She has moved mountains in the classroom, on the basketball court, on the soccer field and everywhere in between."

During her four years of high school Abby was named a National Merit finalist, was recognized as an academic all-conference player in both women's varsity basketball (where she served as team captain) and soccer for the past three years, was captain of Northern High's Science Olympiad team, president of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica Chapter, secretary of the National Honor Society, and has been a volunteer at the Greensboro Science Center. She also has a published research paper on COVID-19. 

She completed 23 college-level classes while in high school and graduated with a 4.84 weighted GPA.

Abby will attend N.C. State University as a Park Scholar, which offers opportunities for innovative enrichment activities as well as a four-year scholarship to the university, and will pursue a degree in biomedical engineering.

"From the day Abby Mulry took her first step into my office in 2019, I knew she possessed a 'secret sauce,'" Northern counselor Leslie Deaton said in a press release announcing Abby's Park scholarship. "What I now know is that she is a curious thinker, a tireless doer, a consummate leader and teambuilder, and a golden-hearted human being. Abigail Lynn Mulry is poised to think and to do and to be in a community of challenge seekers, intellectual explorers, and servant leaders." 

Abby's favorite things include: ice cream, the mountains, soccer, basketball, dark chocolate truffles, Chipotle, zip lining and hiking.

Highlights from Abby Mulry's valedictorian speech: "The title of 'valedictorian' was never my goal - I just like a lot of things and learning happens to be one of them."

She spoke of slowly working to change the mindset of perfection she has had since childhood, drawing from a quote she heard at around age 8: "Close only happens in horseshoes and hand grenades." From that, she adopted the mindset that in other areas, close wasn't enough and she expected perfection of herself - although she said it sometimes created undue stress.

The perfectionist behavior that has led her to this point is not always a healthy thing, she admitted.

Her big takeaway? "Close counts in way more than just horseshoes and hand grenades. Close counts in every single way possible, because close is more than enough... You all, my friends, are enough. Because what I've come to realize is that in all these instances when I was close, I came close to the people. I developed relationships with my classmates, teachers, teammates, coaches and friends. That meant so much more than any award, any title, any banner and any recognition. Because we don't carry those things around with us. But what we do carry around with us is the people. And with all of that said, close counts for a lot."

Clay Christopher Parr, salutatorian

With a weighted GPA of 4.7931, Clay Parr was dually enrolled at Northern Guilford and GTCC, where he completed 18 college-level classes. When introducing him, Principal Janiese McKenzie said he picked up his first book in finance at age 8 and was permanently hooked on stock market volatility and fundamental analysis.

"From there he opened a brokerage account and has been trading ever since," McKenzie said.

During his time at Northern Guilford, Clay enjoyed debating in a mock United Nations meeting at UNC-Chapel Hill, serving as junior class president, serving as this year's student body vice president and as a Nighthawk ambassador, being actively involved in the National Honor Society, Beta Club and National Spanish Honor Society, mentoring elementary students through the Reading Buddy program, playing lacrosse all four years of high school and serving as a Eucharistic minister at St. Pius Catholic Church.

Clay's favorite things include: cappuccinos, the stock market, tea, politics, watches, Cookout milkshakes, Peloton, his family and his amazing "one-of-a-kind" twin sister.

Clay will attend UNC-Chapel Hill and plans to double major in finance and computer science.

Highlights from Clay Parr's salutatorian speech: "Take the risks now that may lead you to your dream life, because those opportunities will start closing off as more responsibility is put on you... Set your life as an adventure, and it is important to not lose those people you meet along the way... Joy means living the life you want and sharing it with others... Choose to bring positive change to the world...The best days are yet to come."

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