FORT MILL — Two Fort Mill seniors who worked, studied, competed and even choreographed a rap video together throughout their four years of high school, hope to continue their friendship after graduation Friday.
Ivan Getov and Trey Schumpert, who hold the two highest grade point averages in the graduating class of 2013 as recently as last Friday, will attend Clemson University in the Calhoun Honors College to major in chemical engineering and biochemistry, respectively.
While finishing at the top of the class is difficult in any normal situation, both students have had to overcome great personal difficulties to graduate with their high honors en route to becoming Tiger commitments.
As an experienced four-year cross country runner, Schumpert knows the euphoria of crossing the finish line after a long marathon. Thats what he says hell be feeling at Winthrop Coliseum when he becomes a Yellow Jacket alumnus. The road was hard, but the sacrifices were worth it.
It was all about putting school ahead of other things that arent as important right now, Schumpert said. Running was something I look back upon and Im glad I did it but it was good to have school first.
At several points, however, Schumperts health was the first thing on his mind. In his sophomore year, he learned that he had anemia, a condition that develops when blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells to give cells enough oxygen. Schumpert said his case was genetic. The condition, and the treatments he needed to attend, made him extremely tired.
It really affected my cross country, he said. [The treatments] were a few times every month for about two and a half years and I saw doctors of all sorts. Its been a big personal battle for me.
Rather than taking his treatments and going home, Schumpert took his time in the hospital as a learning experiment, or a huge job shadow experience. He says he loved science ever since he was younger and that exploring the medical field was a natural choice.
Seeing all those different medical professions, he said, it really solidified my love to go there and learn more.
Schumpert wants to parlay his love of science into medical school experience after his Clemson education ends, with the dream of becoming an anesthesiologist. His time at Fort Mill, he says, will leave him with memories to last him long through college.
Theres definitely going to be a lot of teachers and other friends Ill miss, but Im glad to move on to the next level, he said. Im ready to move on.
Give Ivan Getov some credit: when he and his parents moved from his native Bulgaria seven years ago, there was a great deal of pressure for him to excel in the Fort Mill school system.
My parents came here for me to go to college, so there was a family motivation and my own internal goals, he said. We left Bulgaria for a better life here and one of the main reasons we stayed was the good education.
Luckily, school became the crutch he needed to fit in with his new group of American classmates and friends. He was pleasantly surprised to see several of his new friends slowly help him adjust to an American lifestyle and vernacular as he progressed through Gold Hill Elementary and Springfield Middle schools before reaching Fort Mill High.
Getov truly branched out in high school, joining the Future Business Leaders of America club and becoming involved in several of their competitions, which will include national finals in Anaheim, Calif., later this month.
Along the way, Getov and Schumpert kept running into each other. Whether it was a common class or group project, there was no doubt in the pairs minds that they would work together. The bond would continue as Getov and Schumperts grades soared.
Its really good competing with him, I hope we stay that way in college too, Getov said. Hes always been right behind me! Sophomores going into the World History class still get to watch our rap video on the French Revolution. It was really funny. [Schumperts] an awesome person and friend.
Getov will join his friend at Calhoun Honors College in Clemson University as he studies chemical engineering with an eye to do research in the future.
Anne Ledford, Getovs mentor for pre-calculus and Teacher Cadet, says her former student has what it takes to perform at the highest level in college.
Ivan will be very successful, hell fit right in academically, she said. Id expect him to have a 4.0 [GPA]. I have no doubt that hell make this school proud.
Getov says hell be keeping in touch with the loyal friends hes made at school.
I will be so excited when I walk, he said. Its pretty much one of the best high schools around here. Its definitely going to be impressive.