From Wildcat to Tiger, Springwood salutatorian has big plans

Published 9:30 am Saturday, May 13, 2023

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Always a team player, senior Chase Carithers understands that a win for one is a win for all. This year, he will be representing a win for his Springwood team as the salutatorian for the 2023 graduating class. 

“I’ve always really strived for academic validation,” Carithers said. “So I get a really good sense of accomplishment for getting stuff done and getting stuff done early and doing it well.”

Carithers is the son of proud parents Kari Kinney and Jason Kinney. 

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He moved to Chambers County from Atlanta in seventh grade. Right away, he integrated into the Springwood framework, joining both the scholar’s bowl and the basketball team. 

Carithers has been on the scholar’s bowl every year. Some of Carithers’ favorite memories were going to state with the team. He was the team captain this year. 

“It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, and the friends I’ve done it with are the same people I’ve had since seventh grade doing it. So it’s just fun to see their progression as well,” he said. “Growing into a position as a leader on the team and just coming into the confidence that comes with that, it’s just been fun.”

The scholar’s bowl participates in three to four competitions each year. He has also played basketball every year since he joined Springwood’s ranks. 

“It keeps me fit, and it’s a good way to spend time with my friends because they all enjoy it too,” Carithers said. 

In the past, Carithers has struggled with procrastination. At Springwood, he learned to get his work done earlier and avoid a headache later. 

“This year I’ve kind of strapped in and taken it more seriously. It’s been a little bit of a challenge, but I think it will help me in college a lot, for sure,” he said. 

Science has been one of Carither’s favorite classes. One of the most useful tools that he used to stay on top of things was Gimkit, a study tool that he used for class. 

“Miss Brown introduced us to this game called Gimkit,” he said. “It’s more engaging for me because it’s a game. You still get to learn your terms and stuff like that, but it’s in a more fun way. You don’t feel like you’re learning.”

Another teacher that has found a way to impact Carithers is his English teacher, Susan Oswalt. As a freshman, he used to hate the subject, but now, it’s one of his favorite classes.

“As we’ve gone through high school, and especially in AP language arts and AP literature this year, she’s taught me how to write papers,” Carithers said. “Well, I don’t think I’d be able to be the writer that I am without her, and it’s just been really fun. She’s actually made English and writing fun, which I never imagined would be something I would enjoy.”

As he gets ready to graduate, Carithers is honored to be recognized for his hard work.

“It’s definitely a big honor, but it’s never been something that I was shooting for,” Carithers said. 

Carithers was also recently one of three recipients of the Reed Foundation scholarship. He will be heading to Auburn University to study software engineering in the fall.

“I think it’s a versatile degree, and I’ll be able to find a lot of remote jobs,” he said.