SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Sisters from two different Savannah-Chatham County high schools were both named valedictorians of their graduating class.
Shailyn Frazier graduated from Herschel V. Jenkins High School on Monday, and her half-sister, Jazlyn Manthei, will graduate from Beach High School Thursday.
“I felt like all my hard work paid off,” Frazier said. “And when I found out she was also valedictorian, I was extremely proud of her.”
“I just wanted to be in the top 10,” Manthei responded. “It was a surprise to me.”
The siblings say they’re thankful their families can attend the ceremonies in person to help them celebrate their accomplishments and hear their speeches.
“During our ceremony, there was a pause, and the whole crowd was cheering for us so loud,” Frazier said. “The kids definitely need that. It felt great, just hearing that noise. It made it that much better — it was the cherry on top.”
The sisters say a little bit of friendly competition and mutual support drove them to reach their goal.
“My mom is my biggest supporter,” Manthei said. “She inspires me to do more. I see my mom wake up every day and go to work. She’s a single parent, and she works extremely hard for all her kids.”
Both students were involved in more than just academics. Manthei acted as the basketball manager at Beach High School, ran cross country and track, and participated in the medical program and JROTC.
She will attend Georgia Southern University in the fall to study biology and pursue a career in forensic pathology.
“After I graduate, I want to start an organization for kids at Beach for students who need money for scholarships,” Manthei said.
Frazier is a member of the National Honors Society, FCCLA and DECA. She played varsity basketball and was a peer mediator.
She will study biology at Mercer University to pursue a career as a pediatric cardiologist.
“I want to leave a big impact on my community,” Frazier said. “I want to create my own scholarship at Jenkins. I want to give back to my school. It’s hard paying for school, and I want to give back.”
Their advice to rising upperclassmen is to get involved with the community — and don’t be afraid to ask for help from mentors, coaches and teachers.
“Get involved,” Frazier said. “Work hard and never give up.”