Salutatorian Goodman will culminate six-year journey to No. 2 spot in ECI Class of 2022 this weekend

Landon Goodman’s journey to the salutatorian spot started six years ago, and he’ll get to experience the fruits of his labor this Friday night.

The 18-year-old is a native of Twin City and has attended Emanuel County Institute since the sixth grade.

Throughout his four years as a Bulldog, he played tennis, received the Academic E repeatedly, earned the UGA Certificate of Merit, was a Governor’s Honors Program district representative, was selected to the Governor’s Honors Program, was voted Most Intelligent of his class, and served as ECI’s STAR Student. He is a four-year Beta, TSA, and 21st Century Leader as well, and he is the 2022 class co-president.

All of these accomplishments pale in comparison to having the salutatorian medal around his neck, however.

“This, being named valedictorian or salutatorian, has definitely been a goal of mine, since sixth grade when I got to ECI,” Goodman said. “It’s amazing to think about setting that goal for myself that long ago and seeing it achieved now.”

He remembers the specific moment he found out his hard work was worth it.

“Mrs. [Elizabeth] Kraus called me to her office,” he said. “I was overjoyed, knowing all my hard work over the past four years had paid off.”

Be that as it may, he has some sound advice for those who will come after him with similar goals.

“Work hard and never lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve. There will be stiff competition, so it’s imperative you put your head down and study, work diligently, and, above all else, believe in yourself. If you do all of that, you can hold the No. 1 or No. 2 spot in your class, too.”

Two educators helped him keep his goal in mind at all times.

“Kendall Hadden and John Harrison, they were probably my most influential and supportive teachers. They’re the ones I’ve been closest to throughout my middle and high school careers. I’ve learned so much from them, and I know they’ll always be there for me if I ever need anything.”

Looking back, Goodman says the last four years have made for a great time.

“I would say my high school experience was a very fun and positive experience. I loved my teachers and enjoyed being with my classmates. I looked forward to going to school and getting to be in this environment, and I can honestly say that I will miss being at high school after I graduate.”

With graduation right around the corner, he, like most graduates, is feeling emotions on both ends of the spectrum.

“I am both extremely happy but also extremely sad about graduation upcoming. I am looking forward to such an important milestone and moving forward into a new chapter in my life. However, I have loved this chapter, and turning the page is going to be a little sad and tough. No matter how sad the transition is, I am so thankful for all of the good memories that I have made the last few years and I will cherish them forever.”

This fall, Goodman will continue his courses at East Georgia State to complete the requirements for an Associate of Science in Biology. Later, he’ll transfer to Augusta University to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Biology with the ultimate goal of entering the physician’s assistant program at that same university.

He is the son of Joey and Shauna Goodman, and he has two younger brothers, Ethan and Dawson Goodman.

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