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Katlyn Brantley - Southeast Bulloch High School Valedictorian
Posted 5/31/22

Katlyn Brantley - Southeast Bulloch High School Valedictorian


Katlyn BrantleyKatie Brantley, Southeast Bulloch High School’s valedictorian and STAR student, has maintained her class’ highest grade point average since elementary school. She’s been accepted to several universities of her choice, including the University of Georgia, the Honors College at Georgia Southern University, and the University of Alabama, which offered her its Presidential Scholarship, but with a desire to pursue a career in healthcare, particularly dentistry, she selected Augusta University. 

“I have been accepted to the Dental Scholars Program at Augusta University, and I will be majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology.” 

Katie was one of only 10 applicants who was accepted to the very prestigious program, which guarantees her admission to the Dental College of Georgia. The university also awarded her its Katherine Pamplin Scholarship, and she’s received a $1,000 Rotary Club of Statesboro Scholarship, the Southeast Bulloch Academic Scholarship, and the Georgia Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA) State Leadership Scholarship in addition to the Zell Miller Scholarship as valedictorian.

“It’s an accelerated seven-year program where I’ll work to complete my bachelor of science degree in three years, bypass the traditional dental school application process, and my fourth year of undergraduate school will be combined with my first year of dental school.”

The program will require her to perform community volunteering, dental experience shadowing, research and university extracurricular activities and service as well as maintaining academic excellence.

“I’m thankful that my years of hard work have paid off. I’m very thankful to all of the faculty and staff at SEB and to my parents, Floyd and Kimberly Brantley,” she shared in an interview last week at the school during a quick break from preparing for her Drama class’ last stage performance of the one-act play, “Game of Tiara’s.” It's a comedy that features familiar Disney princess-like characters, but with terrible plot twists like Game of Thrones all told with hilarity.

“I played Elsa from Frozen, but I was called Ellie because it’s a joke in the play that I can’t be called Elsa,” she said sporting the character’s classic blue eye shadow.

She credits her Drama teacher, Joni Mock, with building her confidence in public speaking.

“She really forced me to come out of my shell, and there’s nothing like being thrust out on a stage to help with that.”

Katie credits Southeast Bulloch High School’s Health Occupations teacher, Sharon Pye, with guiding her toward a career in healthcare.

“No one in my family is in the healthcare field, but I learned so much by being a member of HOSA and from Mrs. Pye that I know healthcare is my path.”

“Katie has been an absolute joy to work with!” Pye said.  “She excelled in the Therapeutic Services Allied Health and Medicine pathway. As a member of HOSA, she has competed at the regional, state, and national levels in Medical Math and Healthcare Issues. She actually gave an outstanding presentation about dentistry and orthodontics in the Intro to Healthcare course during our Health Careers Fair when she was just in the ninth grade. I am elated but not surprised that she has been accepted into the  Professional Scholars program for Dentistry at Augusta University.”

In addition to her SEBHS teachers, she credits her mother, Dr. Kim Brantley, whom she selected as her STAR teacher, for her success.

 “I selected one of my fourth grade teachers, Dr. Kim Brantley(or less formally, Mama), as my STAR Teacher because she has consistently been a source of inspiration in my life. She has dedicated herself not only to encouraging my academic success but also to supporting the academic success of all of her students. Her nurturing nature is prevalent in all that she does; she genuinely cares for each and every one of her students. At times when I lacked determination, she was always my motivation, encouraging me to keep reaching toward my full potential. God has blessed me with the most caring, humble, and kind-hearted mother a girl could ask for, and I could not think of another teacher more deserving of this recognition.”

Dr. Brantley is a second-grade teacher at Nevils Elementary School. “I have been honored every day to be her mother," Brantley said. "Her father and I have watched her blossom and transform from an inquisitive, precocious little girl into a kind, caring, and resolute young woman. I have always been impressed by her dedication to academics, but I have been even more proud of her dedication to her family and friends. Katie is one of those rare individuals who is truly as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She always puts the needs of others ahead of her own. As her former teacher, I am positive that she has lived up to her potential as a student. As her parent, I am confident that she will go out into the world and demonstrate all of the good habits and characteristics she has developed through her faith, her upbringing, and her academic career at Bulloch County Schools. I could not be more proud of our sweet Katie!”