(12/26/2017)
For the first time in Clay County High School's history, a student is headed to Harvard University after graduation. And, it wasn't just straight A's and a high ACT score that helped.

"It was a bit overwhelming when I first got that notification, because I really hadn't expected to get accepted, because you know it's only like a 5% acceptance rate," David Tanner said.

Out of that small percentage of applicants accepted into Harvard each year, the Clay County Senior, David Tanner is one of them.

"A lot of these other students who are applying, they come from big schools that have a lot of funding that have programs that can help hem apply and prepare them or applying for institutions like Harvard, so I knew I was kind of at a disadvantage, so it made it all that more satisfying when I received word back, quite an overwhelming experience," Tanner said.

He was working on applications to other Ivy League schools, but after getting accepted to Harvard his decision was made. Now the biggest decision on his plate is whether to major in Biology or Astronomy.

"It's a really humbling experience to come from a county like this that's from the lower income spectrum. It would've been impossible for me to get to this point without my teachers, my friends, my family, helping me along the way," Tanner said.

Just a few months away from graduating with a 4.5 GPA, Tanner said he is so grateful to have grown up in the Clay County School System.

"I would tell all the teachers and administration at my school and in the county, in Clay County, to keep up doing what they're doing. They are fantastic people, wonderful people, and I hope that they can touch other's life like they did my own. They care about their kids, they care about each other, and that's something that I don't think you can get at any place that you go to school in this country, so very thankful to be a part of that community." Tanner said.

Clay County High School teachers said one other student went to an Ivy League school for a graduate degree and another attended Oxford for a semester.


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