Allison Spence enjoys learning. She says she has always been blessed to be motivated to do well academically and has never found it a struggle to succeed in school. On the other hand, she said she has always been conscious of her grades and never satisfied with herself unless she excelled because she knew she was capable of doing so.
Now she has reached a great milestone in her learning as she finds herself at the top of Mary Persons Class of 2020. She has attended Monroe County Schools since she was in kindergarten, beginning at Hubbard Elementary School, moving to K.B. Sutton Elementary when it opened, and proceeding through Monroe County Middle School and Mary Persons. Allison’s mother, Julie Thompson Spence, was at the top of her 1990 Mary Persons graduating class 30 years ago, and Allison’s grandfather, John Thompson, is also a Mary Persons alumnus.
Allison prefers math and science classes and said she loves calculus and AP biology. Some of her favorite teachers are Ms. Griffin, Dr. Williams, Ms. Barber, Mr. Meeks and Ms. Calhoun. She has also enjoyed art classes at Mary Persons with Ms Trevett and being involved with the National Art Honor Society.
When the next school year begins, Allison will head to University of Georgia where she will start the pre-veterinary program with plans of applying to UGA’s School of Veterinary Medicine. She said she has always loved animals and feels veterinary medicine will be a good combination of that and her affinity for science. Her chihuahua, Chloe, and the wiener dog at her house agree that she is good with animals, and she lives near her grandparents who have a farm with large animals. Allison completed the healthcare pathway at Mary Persons and feels she would like to work in medicine but with animals instead of people.
Allison’s mother teaches at K.B. Sutton Elementary. Her brother, Liam, graduated from Mary Persons last year and is now attending Kennesaw State University. Her brother, Aiden, is a 6th grader at Monroe County Middle School. Her Monroe County grandparents are Betty and John Thompson.
One of the things she regrets about not being able to finish her senior year attending classes and having events as planned was the cancellation of the Art Club’s Empty Bowls fundraiser. Allison said she has liked being a part of this annual dinner event that raises money for Monroe County Schools Backpack Buddies program. She and a friend spent several weeks making bowls on the potter’s wheel for the event and completed about 60 very perfect little bowls. She hopes she will be able to come back to the event next year when they use her handmade bowls.
Something else she has missed during the shutdown are the babies she was caring for at Little Angels Daycare. She had a part time job in the infants’ room.
“I love my babies,” said Allison. “I miss them.”
Although she says she can’t help worrying about grades, she really became motivated to excel her senior year after she was named a Junior Marshall for the 2019 graduation, which meant she was at the top of her class. Before that she only knew she was in the top 5 percent of the class of 2020.
She has taken multiple Advanced Placement classes at Mary Persons and dual enrollment classes at Middle Georgia State College. Her efforts have earned her a scholarship from University of Georgia. Now she is ready to try out the new adventures in academics and life that are waiting for her in college.