Two Alexander High seniors in running for prestigious Presidential Scholar Award

Alexander High seniors Alexandra Brookshire and Jayden Mauney will represent the county as they are up for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award, one of the highest academic awards in the country.

When Alexandra Brookshire and Jayden Mauney were called to their respective counselors’ offices, the two worried that they might be in some type of trouble.

Once they reached the offices, they were reassured that nothing was wrong.

In fact, the counselors had some good news for the two Alexander High seniors.

The school had made a decision to nominate them for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award, one of the highest academic awards in the country.

It has proven to be the right choice for the school as both have advanced to the national level as the two representatives from the county.

“I’m excited that I got the opportunity to apply to represent myself and school,” Brookshire said. “I was really nervous when they called me to the office. I wasn’t sure what they wanted.”

Each year, up to 161 students are named U.S. Presidential Scholars, one of the Nation’s highest honors for high school students, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.

“They are both well-deserving students,” Alexander counselor Tim Plumley said. “We are definitely proud of them as they try to earn this very prestigious award. I feel we are represented by two of our best and brightest students.”

Brookshire has a 4.0 grade-point average, and is a member of the school’s band. She plans on attending Berry College to major in music education.

Mauney is looking to attend either Berry or the University of Georgia to major in animal science.

For Mauney, the honor gives her the opportunity to show that no circumstances are too big to overcome.

Mauney is hearing impaired and has to wear hearing aids.

However, she has maintained a 3.92 grade-point average while also participating on the school’s soccer and volleyball teams.

“Being up for this award is certainly a big deal,” Mauney said.

Mauney’s mother, Alicia, called it a “big accomplishment” for her daughter, who started losing her hearing in the second grade.

The family had talked about enrolling her in a special school, but quickly changed their minds because of their strong ties to the community.

“I am Douglas County born and bred and my husband is also,” said Alicia Mauney, who is a special education teacher at South Douglas Elementary School. “The teachers and administrators at Alexander have been very supportive. We felt really comfortable about her going to school in the county.”

Jayden Mauney does admit that it has been a challenge this school year because of the pandemic, since everyone is required to wear masks.

“I’ve learned to take very thorough notes,” she said. “The teachers will pull me to the side and make sure that I understand everything.”