‘Very few Tracys out there,’ teacher says of Rhodes Scholarship winner

Joe Kovac Jr.

It was late one Friday night this decade when it first dawned on the teacher that the student was no ordinary freshman, no run-of-the-mill whiz kid.

The teacher and the student, a ninth-grade girl, were, of all places, in a school parking lot. They were sitting on a curb, talking, waiting for the student’s ride home to arrive.

Their academic team meet was over and, after a tiring evening of competition, they were relaxing there in the dark, talking music, the violin, literature, art, the student’s ambitions, her Chinese lessons.

“I remember thinking at the time, ‘Wow, can this be for real?’ ’’ the teacher, Diane Smith, recalled Monday, after hearing that the student, Tracy J. Yang, now a University of Georgia senior, had been selected as a 2011 Rhodes Scholar.

“She was so articulate for her age, so interested in so many things. ... She was filled with energy and ideas and about pursuing interesting plans in those areas that she loved.”

Yang, 21, a Westside High School graduate who was born and raised in Macon, is her home state’s lone Rhodes Scholar this year.

Read more: http://www.macon.com/2010/11/23/1350806/very-few-tracys-out-there-teacher.html#ixzz16tRt7GlR