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Cornelius News

Meet Daniel Ntim: SouthLake Christian Academy Valedictorian



By Dave Vieser. New York’s loss was North Carolina’s gain a few years back when Daniel Ntim’s family moved south. Proof?  The Queens native, who now lives in Cornelius was recently named valedictorian of SouthLake Christian Academy’s Class of 2016. Ntim, 17, who will be attending Duke University in the fall, delivered a stirring speech at the graduation ceremony in the school’s Wilcox Gym.

“My valedictory address highlighted SouthLake Christian Academy’s strong sense of community through times of joy and times of grief,” said Ntim. “SouthLake is a place where students can freely display their God-given talents behind immense encouragement and support from the SouthLake community. Additionally, SouthLake is filled with unique teachers who go above and beyond to positively influence the academic and spiritual lives of their students. I told my fellow students that just as we have been supported by this community, we should take what has been instilled in us and effectively invest in others in the same way.”

Nitm said it was “an immense honor” to be selected as class valedictorian. “It is a testament that hard work pays off, and there is a reward for determination and self-motivation.”

Valedictorian wasn’t the only award Ntim received. He also captured the Duke University Reginaldo Howard Scholarship, awarded to students who embody the qualities of Howard, Duke’s first African-American student government president.

Ntim says he is undecided on his major at Duke, but is interested in healthcare and economics because of the diverse opportunities both fields offer, their challenging natures, and their relevance to both global and domestic ways of life.

Ntim was born in Queens, New York, where he attended the Lutheran School of Flushing and Bayside. After moving to North Carolina, he studied at the First Assembly Christian School in Winston-Salem before coming to SouthLake. He lives with his parents, William and Sally Ntim, an older sister Stephanie, 19, and a younger brother David, 11, in the Robbins Preserve section of Cornelius.

SouthLake, located on Hager’s Ferry Road just off Highway 73 in Huntersville, has some 660 students in their classes, which run from junior kindergarten through 12th grade. Their elementary classes are limited to 21 students, often with a teacher and full-time assistant, while upper school classrooms are kept under 24.