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Michael Guthrie claims salutatorian title at Bob Jones

MADISON – Michael Bartlett Guthrie has earned the title of 2020 salutatorian at Bob Jones High School.

Bob Jones Principal Sylvia Lambert officially informed Guthrie about his honor and asked him to deliver a speech at graduation.

Guthrie had plotted his academic records, so his honor wasn’t a surprise. “I had moved into rank 2 after the last semester of my junior year, so I knew that as long as I made A’s in my remaining classes, I would likely end high school as the salutatorian,” he said.

Guthrie’s main goal was to challenge himself by taking as many AP and college classes as possible. He ‘spread himself thin’ in academics while also trying to balance extracurriculars and socializing.

“I tried to find the most efficient ways to learn material, do homework and prepare for tests. Taking challenging classes in a wide range of subjects helped me narrow down what I wanted to pursue in the future, as well as allowed me to have intelligent conversation outside my field of preferred study,” Guthrie said.

Guthrie achieved a GPA of 5.428. His commendations include Presidential Scholar Candidate, National Merit Finalist, Seal of Biliteracy and National Advanced Placement Scholar Award.

The National Merit Finalist award will help Guthrie the most because he is guaranteed a full scholarship, study abroad opportunities and an additional stipend at the University of Alabama. “(These factors) give me a great chance to graduate college debt-free,” he said.

Guthrie served as President of Chess Club and participated in Science National Honor Society, Rho Kappa, Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish Honor Society, Chess Team, Math Team, Model UN and Taekwondo Club.

With Madison City Chess League, he volunteered as coach for Rainbow Elementary School and All Star East Chess Club. He is a U.S. Chess Federation certified tournament director.

The University of Alabama is Michael’s choice for college, where he will study chemical engineering. “Chemical engineers play a role in practically every process, so my future job opportunities as a chemical engineer could be flexible. I, of course, enjoy both chemistry and math, but chemical engineering is a fantastic major for keeping one’s options open in the future,” he said.

“With a chemical engineering degree, it is possible to go straight into the work force, pursue any number of master’s degrees, go to medical school, be a patent lawyer and probably some other things I’m forgetting. There are just so many different possibilities,” Guthrie said.

Michael’s parents are Todd Guthrie and Ranae Bartlett.

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