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GRADUATION 2018: West Forsyth's Gran excelled at academics, on court
West Forsyth High School's Emma Gran of the Class of 2018 plans to attend the University of Notre Dame and double major in statistics and economics. - photo by Alexander Popp

Emma Gran, an 18-year-old graduating senior at West Forsyth High School, has lived in Forsyth County her whole life and is preparing to step out into the world for the first time, to college and a career beyond. 

According to West Forsyth High School Principal Karl Mercer, she is an “amazing young lady.” He said that her hard work and achievement in a variety of different interests makes her stand out among her peers. 

“I have seen her on the court playing basketball, I have seen all the awards that she’s won and I’m amazed and proud that she’s part of the West family,” Mercer said. 

In her time at West, Gran won a number of awards for her academic achievement including the University of Georgia certificate of merit, a national merit special scholarship and attending the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program, according to school administration. 

Q: What college are you planning to attend?

A: I will be attending the University of Notre Dame. I love the entire feel of this school. Its Catholic roots would allow me to grow in my faith, its community style dorm-life would allow me to develop familial relationships with other students and its beautiful campus feels like home. Notre Dame provides top-notch academics, numerous study-abroad and research opportunities, and it teaches the skills necessary to grow as an individual. Being a student at Notre Dame will prepare me for a promising career and allow me to connect with one of the strongest alumni networks in the world.

Q: What did you pick for a major?

A: I plan to double major in statistics and economics. I want to combine my love of social science with my interest in mathematics, so I will have a strong baseline for a career in economics, business statistics or data analysis. 

Q: Do you have a favorite subject?

A: My favorite subject is Social Studies. I like learning about history and other cultures, which has expanded my perspective of the world. Studying government and economics helps me understand the complexities of the world around me and helps me become a well-informed, discerning citizen. 

Q: Do you have a least favorite subject 

A: My least favorite subject is science. Science is interesting, but it can be difficult to grasp the complex details. I enjoy applying course material to the real world, so I’m challenged by the theoretical aspects of scientific courses, like physics.

Q: Favorite teacher (and why): 

A: My favorite teacher was my AP World History teacher, Bo Brison. His class was exciting and engaging. It helped me discover my passion for social studies and Mr. Brison motivated me to learn more. He expected excellence and challenged me to strengthen my critical thinking skills and look at the world around us in a new perspective. 

Also, Mr. Brison is the school’s Rho Kappa (Social Studies Honor Society) Sponsor. I serve as the Rho Kappa President, so I have been able to work with Mr. Brison to inspire other students to take an interest in social studies. Working with Mr. Brison has strengthened our relationship beyond the scope of his AP World History class.

Q: Favorite school tradition (and why):

A: I enjoy being a part of the Gulo Gang (the West Forsyth Student Section) at Friday night football games. It feels great to unite with the other students and promote a sense of pride in our school. I enjoy dressing up in themed apparel and cheering on the football team alongside my classmates.

Q: Best school memory (and why): 

A: Last year, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to witness the inauguration of the President of the United States. Mrs. Tallant, our school’s AP Government teacher, organized this trip for a group of juniors and seniors at our school. We spent a week in the city where we visited key landmarks, including the monuments, memorials, Smithsonian museums, Supreme Court building, U.S. Capitol building and Mount Vernon. Standing on the National Mall to witness the Presidential Inauguration was an experience of a lifetime. 

Q: Toughest challenge in high school (and why): 

A: Balancing my academic schedule with my extracurricular activities and my community involvement. AP classes involve a lot of outside work, which meant that I had to work on my time management skills. I wanted to have enough time to focus on my classes while participating in activities like basketball.

Q: Favorite TV show?

A: The West Wing.

Q: Senior-year song?

A: “Now or Never,” from High School Musical 3.

Q: Worst household chore?

A: Washing the dishes. I find it gross to put my hands in the dirty dish water. 

Q: Nervous habit?

A: I fidget when I get nervous. It helps calm my nerves in stressful situations

Q: Most talented at?

A: I like to think academics and school in general. I have an interest in a variety of subjects, and I have always worked hard in all of my classes.

Q: Least talented at?

A: Singing. I love to sing but I am tone deaf.

Q: Something many don’t know about you?

A: I used to be a dancer for 10 years, but I stopped when I got to high school.

Q: Career aspirations?

A: I would like to pursue a career that showcases my knowledge in economics and statistics. This could be a career as a business statistician, economist, or data analyst. I ultimately want to contribute to an organization that will allow me to demonstrate my skills while helping the organization achieve its goals and objectives. 

Q: Advice for next year’s seniors?

A: Commit yourselves to your studies and academic excellence, while taking the time when necessary to slow down and enjoy your senior year. Everybody counts down the days to graduation but remember to appreciate every day. High school goes by in the blink of an eye, so don’t forget to cherish every moment of it.