Rising Up: Chambers Academy’s valedictorian takes on challenges

Published 9:30 am Saturday, April 29, 2023

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Moving schools halfway through high school, it would be easy to feel like the underdog. Luckily for Carley Forbus, daughter of Heather and Jeremy Forbus, she fit right into the fold of her new school.

Forbus joined the ranks of Chambers Academy at the start of her junior year. Now, she will be this year’s valedictorian. 

Forbus never felt like an outsider at the school. Forbus has thrived in her academic and athletic career thanks to the welcoming, family-like atmosphere of Chambers Academy. 

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“We’re like a huge family, and nothing compares to it,” Forbus said. “The people that grew up here are so lucky to feel the family atmosphere that they felt growing up here their whole lives.”

Coach Jon Owens, Coach Jeff Hines and Coach Tom Garrett have been a great system of strong support for her. 

“Not only do they give you help throughout school, but you can go to them about anything, and they’ll give you advice and help you out,” Forbus said. 

Outside of the classroom, Forbus has kept herself busy. She is in the Beta club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and the Journalism club.

Forbus has learned time management and organizational skills in Journalism that have helped her balance all her responsibilities. The club organizes the annual Field Day for the school.

Forbus plays on the softball and volleyball teams. In her former school, Forbus struggled, feeling she missed opportunities on the team. 

At Chambers Academy, her support system was very different — even when Forbus sported an arm sling and had to undergo surgery after homecoming. 

“I had my surgery in October. Overcoming that to play softball was really, really hard, and I’m still going through it,” Forbus said. “But all of the parents and the coaches were just amazing helping me through.”

The challenge pushed her to work harder to earn her place on the team. It helped her make connections with and be someone to look up to for the younger student-athletes. 

“It really changed my mindset on some things. There are a whole bunch of people that aren’t given their chance, and they need their chance,” Forbus said. “My mom likes to call them the underdogs. And obviously, I wasn’t an underdog, but there are people that are underdogs, and they need to be appreciated, too.”

Last year, the Chambers Academy volleyball team was runner-up in the state competition. This year, the softball team will be going to the state competitions. 

“That was something that nobody expected of us, and so we’re really proud of that,” Forbus said.

Forbus has always worked hard to maintain A’s in her classes. But as she’s gotten older, she knew she had to ace her ACT test if she wanted to get into Auburn University.

Parents love to ask kids what they want to be when they grow up. Forbus has known the answer to that question since she was young.

After graduation, Forbus will be off to Auburn University to study biomedical science on a  predental track. Then, she will continue on to dental school at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

As graduation approaches, Forbus is preparing to say her goodbyes to the school that felt like a home full of parents. 

“We finally grew up, and it’s here so fast,” Forbus said.