Forsyth Middle CollegeLocated on the Campus of Forsyth Technical Community College2100 Silas Creek Parkway
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
Phone: (336) 734-7437
Fax: (336) 734-7467
Fran Cook, PrincipalHours: 11:00 am - 3:30 pm
This is the seventh story in our series about seniors in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. We asked the people at each school to select one senior. Forsyth Middle College chose Austyn Chaudoir.
By Kim Underwood
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
MAY 19, 2015 – Come May 28, Austyn Chaudoir will be giving a speech as the valedictorian at Forsyth Middle College. She’s a little nervous.
“I’m not really a speech-giver type person,” Chaudoir said.
She plans to make it straightforward and promises that there will be no rhymes. The speech is going to be about overcoming obstacles, a topic she knows well.
Chaudoir was born three months prematurely on July 4, 1997, while her family was on vacation in Charleston, S.C. “I was a surprise,” she said. “I was supposed to be born in October.”
She was flown back here and spent the next year at Wake Forest Baptist Health Center. “I had to have 15 surgeries,” she said.
Chaudoir lives in Kernersville and spent the first three years of her high school career at Glenn. She came to Middle College for her senior year and has found it a good fit. She likes the smaller size and more intimate atmosphere.
As editor of the school newspaper – Phoenix Flyer – Chaudoir works closely with English teacher Nicole Gottfried. Gottfried appreciates her consistently positive attitude.
“She has always got a smile on her face,” Gottfried said. “She never complains. She works hard and she is dedicated. That’s the kind of student you dream about.”
When it comes to putting out the newspaper, Gottfried said, Chaudoir comes in early and stays late to get the job done. “She makes my job easy.”
Since Chaudoir has been at Middle College, said school counselor Barbara Ashe, she has come to serve as an informal ambassador for the school by welcoming new students.
“She’s unique,” said school counselor Barbara Ashe. “She is independent. She works. She keeps her grades up…She does whatever you want her to do…I know she will be successful because she is that determined.”
After Chaudoir gives her speech and receives her diploma, she is going to Charleston with her grandmother Debbie Cox. It’s a trip she’s looking forward to. “I have never visited since I was born,” she said.
When the coming school year begins, she will head to Methodist University in Fayetteville. A relatively small university, it has a total of about 2,400 students. She is receiving a substantial scholarship.
Principal William Wynn helped her find Methodist. “I am glad it worked out for her,” Wynn said. “She has so much personality. She also has the thrust to aspire for more. She has overcome a lot to get to this point.”
Chaudoir has two siblings – Ashlyn, who goes to Glenn, and Trey, who goes to Southeast Middle. For going on two years, she has worked at a Bojangles’ restaurant in Kernersville. She works there on weekends and some days during the week for a total of about 28 hours a week.
“I do pretty much everything,” she said. “The people I work with are really great people.”
Chaudoir enjoys people. “I’m an outgoing person,” she said.
Over the years, she has discovered that having July 4 as your birthday is a bit like having it on Christmas Day. There is so much going on anyway that your birthday may not get singled out in the way it might on another day. She expects this birthday to be special, though. “This year, I turn 18,” she said.
When she can find the time, she reads. “I have always read books throughout my entire life.”
She makes a point to read the books in such series as The Hunger Games and Divergent before going to see the movie.
As for a career, Chaudoir doesn’t have a specific path in mind at the moment. She just knows that, in one way or another, she wants to help people get better.
The Forsyth Middle College graduation ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday May 28 in the auditorium at Parkland High School.Kim Underwood