Cooper, Nichols get top grades at CAK

Julya JohnsonOur Town Teens

CAK is proud to announce that the Class of 2021 valedictorian is Allie Cooper and the salutatorian is Anna Nichols.


Allie Cooper is a National Merit Finalist and the president of the National Honor Society’s CAK chapter. She has earned both gold and silver in the National French Exam, and has twice been awarded the Character of Excellence Award by her peers. Cooper earned the Miss IQ senior superlative and serves on the Student Senate.

Athletically, Cooper has competed on the CAK varsity girls’ golf team and served as team captain this year. In 2020, the girls’ golf team won both district and region. Individually, Cooper finished 4th in the region and 14th in the state golf tournament. She competed all four years at the state level.

In the arts, Cooper is a member of the CAK Spirit of Praise ensemble. She enjoys musical theater where she was cast as Lady Larken in “Once Upon a Mattress” her freshman year, Zelda Zanders in “Singing in the Rain” her junior year and she will play Savannah in CAK’s “Freaky Friday” high school musical performance. She has also been named to the East Tennessee Vocal Association’s All-East Tennessee Choirs for three years.

For Cooper’s Capstone project, she painted a mural of Noah’s Ark on her church’s nursery (Atkins Baptist Church). She also organized her church’s Clothes Closet which is an outreach project for members of the community.

After graduation, Cooper plans to double major in chemistry and French with a focus towards pre-med. She one day hopes to become a pediatrician or pediatric physician assistant. She is considering UTK, UGA, William and Mary and waiting to hear back from a few other prestigious colleges in April like Harvard, Dartmouth, New York University and Vanderbilt.

“I’m so thankful to have had such wonderful teachers and educators who have poured into me these past seven years at CAK,” says Cooper. “Not only have they given me academic confidence, but they have also instilled in me fundamental aspects of a Christ-centered life that I will continue to grow upon. Looking forward, I firmly believe CAK has prepared me to be successful in both college and life beyond college. The possibilities are endless, and I am beyond grateful for the memories I have made in my time at CAK.”

“Allie has proven what can be accomplished at CAK if one is willing to put forth the grit and hard work,” say her parents, Donnie and Rebecca Cooper. “When Allie was in elementary school, she finished second place in a record-breaking spelling bee. Since then, she has had the will, drive and determination to accomplish the goals she has set for herself. We are extremely proud of the accomplished woman she is and look forward to watching how God uses her life for His glory in the future.”

Anna Nichols has been awarded the Agape Character Award her freshman, sophomore and junior years. She also received the Distinguished Christian High School Student Award for Christian Service.

Athletically, Nichols is a 4-year varsity soccer player and spent two years as team captain. She twice received the Women’s Soccer MVP award. She is also honored as All-District goalkeeper.

Her volunteer service includes vice president of T.R.E.C. (Together Reaching Each Challenge), an outdoors club. She also went on the Quebec French Mission Trip for four years. Nichols has volunteered to help with the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission (KARM) and Serenity Residential Program for Women.

Nichols’ Capstone Project includes being a CAK soccer summer camp counselor, re-establishing and re-launching T.R.E.C, and serving as a teaching assistant for Lisa Saird’s chemistry lab.

Nichols plans to attend Colorado School of Mines to major in engineering with an emphasis on aeronautical and space exploration.

“I will forever cherish the Christ-centered community that CAK has provided to me because of the impactful teachers, inspiring coaches and lifelong friends I have had the honor to interact with the past seven years,” says Nichols.

“Anna has made the most of her high school career at CAK giving her full effort on the soccer field, excelling in challenging classes, and being gentle and loving to her friends and teammates,” say her parents, Lynn and Dawn Nichols.

Julya Johnson is director of communications for Christian Academy of Knoxville.

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