By Joel Hall
Tyler Ondrea Jones, 18, had a feeling she might be selected as the STAR Student for Mt. Zion High School. Her ambition wouldn't let her have it any other way.
"I kind of felt like I knew," she said. "My mom said I have been like this ever since I was a child ... Success is only measured by the people who have it."
Maintaining a 4.106 grade-point average, Jones has had her fair share of successes in high school. A scholar and a leader, Jones spent all but her senior spring semester in the high school ROTC. She has also been a member of Kitty Hawk, the ROTC's honor society, and a member of the school's BETA Club. She is currently a member of the National Honor Society.
An independent thinker, Jones said her time in the ROTC as a drill instructor for freshman students taught her how to get along with all types of people.
"It taught me a lot of patience with the other kids," Jones said. "You have to deal with certain people in certain ways."
Jones spends a lot of her free time at school, serving as a videographer for the school's basketball and football teams. She also enjoys art, and is particularly fond of oil pastels.
"They are kind of like crayons, but they are messy and I love them," she said.
Jones has already received an acceptance letter from Georgia Tech and plans to pursue a career in chemical engineering, as science is her favorite subject.
"I want to stay in chemical engineering, because it's a practical use for science and math and it helps people," she said. "You're using a chemical process to make things easier. People need medicine, and if you can find a chemical process to make it cheaper, that helps everybody."