“It’s always looked at as an abnormality on the football team,” said 17-year-old Hester. “We have smart kids but at the end-of-the-year banquets, they announce people’s GPAs and everybody would make a big deal out of it.”
He will graduate from Allatoona with a 4.46 GPA, which includes him taking 10 advanced placement courses throughout his four years of high school.
Hester said during the off season it’s pretty easy to juggle football and classes, but during football season in the fall, he’s up late each night doing homework. There are times when things never seem to slow down.
“We have film every morning for the offensive line, practice every day, games on Fridays and film again on Saturdays, so there’s time where time management is huge,” he said.
As far as keeping his business in order, it’s never been something that was encouraged by his parents but something he expected of himself.
“I pretty much managed it myself,” Hester said. “When I do something, I’ve always tried to do it the right way so I made it a goal to make all As and better myself on the field.”
Allatoona’s math department chair Wynne Shoemaker said Hester’s take on grades and time management should be the rule rather than the exception.
“He is proof that with hard work and determination, you can overcome obstacles,” she said, referring to Hester breaking his leg last fall and still playing football while making the best of his academics.
“He is an amazing young man and I feel honored to have taught him,” Shoemaker said. “Andrew is in the top 1 percent of students I’ve taught over my 14 years of teaching. He is incredibly self-motivated and always makes sure to understand something completely.”
And though he loved his high school experience and jokes about doing it all over again if he could, Hester said he is excited about starting at Georgia this fall.
“My class is only the second class to go all the way through Allatoona so we’ve always had a bunch of school spirit and been a tight-knit class,” he said. “I’ll miss it a little bit.”
The Acworth-area school opened in 2008. He is one of about 420 seniors graduating from the school Friday morning at Allatoona Stadium.
Hester is leaning toward a major in economics or business and chose UGA because it has one of the best business schools in the country.
“Part of me wants to go into economics and do something with finance but also, I’ve considered going into law,” he said.
He also hasn’t decided what clubs or organizations he’ll be a part of in college, but hopes to serve on something similar to a National Honor Society or Beta Club.
“I’d like to get involved in as much as I can in Athens,” he said.