Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Makaylah Heyward, Rocky River High School

Makaylah Heyward is the definition of a standout student, involved in plenty of extracurriculars, a leader among her peers, and driven.

She transferred from Harding University High School to Rocky River to start her junior year, and had already been the captain of the volleyball team, a member of JROTC, and a volunteer at a local rehabilitation center, where she was introduced to physical therapy, which she intends to study in college.

At Rocky River, she serves as Battalion Commander and Lieutenant Colonel with the JROTC, which started at Rocky River the same year she did.

Heyward is a member of the National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and NAACP. She has worked with Ronald McDonald charities, the Crisis Assistance Ministry and Second Harvest food Bank in Charlotte, and has studied abroad in Costa Rica. But most of her time is spent with JROTC, coordinating with school leaders, scheduling and overseeing staff meetings and leading events.

“I like the environment, I like the cadets,” Heyward said. “I like people saying ‘I would like to be in your position,’ giving advice, teaching people about leadership and responsibility,” Heyward said.

She is a volunteer with her church, Mount Carmel Baptist, with CMC, and at a rehabilitation center in Mount Holly.

Heyward has received more than $24,000 in scholarships to the University of Miami, where she plans on studying pre-physical therapy.

This summer, before heading off to Miami, Heyward plans on saving up money for college, working at Great Wolf Lodge, and is hoping to organize another study abroad trip, this time to an Asian country or the Dominican Republic.

Makaylah’s parents are Dwayne and Erika Heyward. Dwayne is an Army First Sergeant and served as a medic in Iraq, and Erika is a project manager at Bank of America.


Paul Shaver, Jr., Butler High School 


Paul Shaver, Jr. Will graduate from Butler with a 4.11 GPA, and will enroll at Duke University this fall, to study neuroscence.

Born with spina bifida, Shaver hasn’t had the easiest of paths through high school, being hospitalized after complications with a surgery his freshman year.

Shaver serves as President of the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) club at Butler, overseeing eight blood drives, working with the Red Cross and community blood centers. He has competed in the HOSA Bowl, a scholars’ bowl-style competition, placing first in regionals, second in the state, and garnering national recognition at the national competition in Anaheim, Calif.

He is the vice president of Senior Board, a member of the Key Club and Historical Society, as well as the National Honor Society.

Shaver is currently in a wheelchair, but trying to get back on his feet, and last year created a program called Project CASFA, or Creating Accessible Schools for America, where he tours schools, grading their accessibility for wheelchairs and disabled students.

His goal is to eventually create a database of information from going around to schools and colleges, assessing their accessibility.

After looking at a number of schools, including Wake Forest and Davidson, but settled on Duke due to their neuroscience program and accessibility.

“I’ve always been interested in medicine,” Shaver said. “I was born with spina bifida, so I’ve always been around neurologists and I’ve always admired their work and what they do and how they influence the lives of other people.”

Shaver likes to spend his free time fishing and traveling, and this summer is planning to travel down to Florida, Annabelle Island, Miami, and Key West.

His parents are Paul Shaver Sr. And Karen Shaver.