Profile: Val, Sal at CAK

Christian Academy of Knoxville has announced its top two academic students for the Class of 2021: valedictorian is Allie Cooper, while Anna Nichols is salutatorian.

Cooper is a National Merit Finalist and president of the National Honor Society CAK chapter. She has earned both gold and silver in the National French Exam, and twice has 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 is a two-time district golf champ with another second-place district finish and a two-time region runner-up also earning third- and fourth-place region honors. A four-time state qualifier, her best state finish was sixth place as a junior in 2019.

In the arts, Cooper is a member of the CAK Spirit of Praise ensemble. Enjoying musical theater, she also has 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), and also organized her church’s Clothes Closet, which is an outreach project for members of the community. 

Cooper plans to double major in chemistry and French with a focus on pre-med. She hopes to become a pediatrician or pediatric physician assistant. She is considering the University of Tennessee, the University of Georgia and William and Mary, but is waiting to hear back from prestigious colleges such as 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,” Cooper said. “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.”

Nichols profile

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 was a 4-year varsity soccer player, two years as team captain, who twice received the Women’s Soccer MVP team award while also earning All-District goalkeeper honors.  

Her volunteer service includes serving as 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 and has volunteered to help with the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission 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 Mrs. Saird’s chemistry lab at the school

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,” Nichols said.