When the Denmark High School boys basketball team clinched its first region championship, Sophie Ralph was there with her camera.
When the newest Forsyth County high school held its first prom in 2019, Ralph was there with her camera.
At pep rallies and volleyball matches and everything in between, Ralph was always there with her camera to capture the moment for the Denmark yearbook.
“So that everyone can appreciate them is really important to me,” Ralph said.
Class of 2020
The Forsyth County News puts together this special senior recognition each year, highlighting a few standout stories from our local seniors. We hope you’re inspired by these stories and join us in celebrating the class of 2020. You can see the whole project by going here.
Over her four years of high school — first at South Forsyth, then at Denmark when it opened in 2019 — Ralph found a passion for storytelling. It started at the South Forsyth student newspaper, The Nest. Ralph was the art critic. She wrote about the theater department’s productions. Ralph particularly enjoyed giving readers a peek behind the curtain.
“I really loved kind of opening up what was going on backstage to everyone that wasn’t involved,” Ralph said.
Denmark didn’t have a student newspaper when Ralph transitioned there, but determined to pursue journalism, Ralph decided to get involved with yearbook. Within two weeks, she was its editor-in-chief leading a team of designers, photographers and writers to document life at Denmark.
The position gave her a wide experience of the school and helped her develop new skills.
“Yearbook had so many different elements that I loved,” Ralph said. “I love photography. I love writing. Designing was something that I’d never done before but I really enjoyed. It kind of played to my strengths.”
Yearbook allowed Ralph to be there for many of the school’s biggest moments. For example, she relished taking photos of Homecoming. It just so happened her good friend was named Homecoming King.
“That made me so happy for him,” Ralph said.
Initially, Ralph was a little unsure about going to a brand-new high school, but she eventually realized it gave her the chance to do things she probably wouldn’t have at South Forsyth.
Ralph founded the Denmark chapter of Just One Africa, an organization that provides orphans and vulnerable children in Africa with access to clean water, and organized fundraisers. She also created a digital news show on Twitter, called The Denmark Sports News Network, where she interviewed coaches for pre- and post-game reports as well as athletes for a “senior spotlight” series.
But for all the big moments Ralph got to be a part of, some of her favorite ones that she’ll take with her when she attends the University of Georgia are the less noteworthy ones: seeing Denny the Great Dane, the school’s mascot, in the hallway, or sitting in the courtyard with friends during lunch.
“Just being a high school student,” Ralph said. “There’s really no pressure on them to be these great things. They just are great on their own. I think those are the moments that really made that place great for me.”