Alyssa Dela Cruz Fernando is the 2014 Appling Christian Academy Valedictorian. Alyssa is the daughter of Dr. Orlando and Nerissa Fernando and the older sister of Andrea. She has attended Appling Christian Academy since 1999 in the pre-k program.
Alyssa has been a member of the ACA Lady Eagles volleyball team for five years, including the 2013 State Championship team, and served as co-captain. She played as the setter and was voted Most Valuable Player by her teammates her senior year. She also received the Coaches’ Award for two years. Alyssa played basketball in the seventh through ninth grades on the junior varsity team, winning the 2011 JV State Championship with an undefeated season, and she received Most Improved Player. She played on the varsity basketball team from eighth through tenth grades, winning the 2012 State Championship and placing runner-up in the NACA national tournament.
During her senior year, Alyssa competed in the Biology Testing category in the Georgia Association of Christian Schools Fine Arts Competition. She placed 1st in the state and was invited to compete in the AACS national fine arts competition hosted at Bob Jones University.
Alyssa has been a member of the Christian Honor Society for four years, serving as secretary her junior year and co-president her senior year. She has maintained being on the Principal’s List and the A Honor Roll throughout her high school career and received the Highest Academic Average Award for four years and various subject awards.
Alyssa has received the following Eagle Superlative Awards: the Humility Award in her junior year and the Kindness Award and Humility Award during her senior year. Voted by her peers, Alyssa has been on the 2012 and 2013 Homecoming Court.
Outside of school, Alyssa has volunteered for the Chamber of Commerce, the Baxley Lions Club, and the Appling Medical Group. She participated in the Baxley community choir led by Jeff Lewis. Alyssa has been a member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church where she serves as a pianist and vocalist for the choir. She has also been a member of E.P.I.C. youth group for three years. Aside from playing at St. Rose, she has been invited to play piano for the Feast of Santo Niño in both Douglas and Folkston.
For her future, Alyssa plans to attend the University of Georgia and major in Biology on the pre-med track. She aspires to one day become a doctor and open her own clinic.