On the Map 2024

Celebrated Students

These graduates have accomplished incredible things and enjoyed great successes since their high school years. Their talents and passions have taken them to the country’s most prestigious universities, across the globe, and in some cases, right back to the Scenic City. 

So what’s putting them on the map? Read about it here.

blakesly brock

A Gifted Golfer

Blakesly Warren Brock, Baylor School, Class of 2014

Blakesly Warren Brock, a 2014 graduate of Baylor School, captured the 2021 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Berkeley Hall Club in Bluffton, South Carolina, in her first championship appearance. The former University of Tennessee, Knoxville golfer became the third-youngest champion in U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur history at the age of 25. Brock also won the 2021 Tennessee Women’s Mid-Amateur and is a two-time winner of the Tennessee Girls’ Junior Amateur. In 2022 she was named a brand ambassador for Team Teleri, a women-founded golf apparel brand looking to improve apparel options for women in the sport.


kaylee brown

Fostering Community and Culture

Kaylee Brown, Notre Dame High School, Class of 2016

Throughout her time at Notre Dame High School, Kaylee Brown grew in her love for serving her community. This passion led her to create Ruddle’s Bread & Book – a bookstore and cafe located in downtown Cleveland. Her business is a supportive and collaborative environment for readers, writers, artists, and free thinkers. This inspired her to partner with local farmers and food artisans to create a completely locally-sourced grocery market held every Sunday in downtown Cleveland called Farmers on First. Brown has created a safe place for her community to foster a lifestyle centered around the human experience, inspired by the environment fostered at Notre Dame High School.


daniel dassow

A Passion for Journalism

Daniel Dassow, Chattanooga Christian School, Class of 2019

Daniel Dassow’s interest in journalism began at CCS as a member of the student newspaper The Charger. After graduation, he studied English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he served as the editor-in-chief of The Daily Beacon student newspaper and earned accolades from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists and the Green Eyeshade Awards. He now works at the Knoxville News Sentinel as a reporter focused on technology and energy growth, covering topics including the Department of Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the McGhee Tyson Airport.


kade owens

Shooting for the Moon

Kade Owens, Boyd-Buchanan School, Class of 2017

While playing football and soccer at Boyd-Buchanan School, Kade Owens also excelled in the engineering program and mentored several students in engineering and robotics. After graduating, he attended The University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he obtained an aerospace engineering degree while working on NASA’s SLS rocket for the Artemis Program. He was also named student of the year and participated in several honors programs during his time at UAH. Currently, he works at Blue Origin as an avionics engineer, designing space hardware for an orbital rocket that will help return mankind to the moon.

kylie sanzo

Making Moves in Music

Kylie Sanzo, Hixon High School, Class of 2014

After graduating from Hixon High School, Kylie Sanzo attended Belmont University to pursue a degree in music business. During her time at Belmont, she was a member of the symphony orchestra and interned with Peermusic, the largest independent music publisher in the world. She also worked as royalty administrator for Clearbox Rights before transitioning to her current role at the prestigious Opry Entertainment Group as the rights and clearances manager. Sanzo holds more than 20 television credits for music clearances for shows such as Opry Live, ACM Honors, and various documentaries.


charlie rizzo

Revolutionizing Research

Charlie Rizzo, Silverdale Baptist Academy, Class of 2015

During his time at Silverdale Baptist Academy, Charlie Rizzo played baseball, was a member of the honor society, and graduated valedictorian of the class of 2015. Rizzo went on to get a computer science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, followed by a master’s degree in computer science in 2021. He is currently a doctoral candidate in a computer science program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His doctoral research focuses on neuromorphic computing, which models computer engineering after the human brain and nervous system. In his free time, Rizzo is an avid chef and loves to cook, and he enjoys working out and playing piano.


josie roebuck

An Artist to Watch

Josie Love Roebuck, Girls Preparatory School, Class of 2014

Josie Love Roebuck played soccer throughout her time at GPS, earning Best of Preps accolades and helping her team to a Division II-AA state championship runner-up title. When a series of injuries ended her college soccer career, she began pursuing her other love – art. In 2019, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia, and in 2021, her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati. During the 2022-23 school year, she taught art full-time at Northern Kentucky University. She is also a working artist, creating portraiture and tapestry-like quilts and wood cutouts, and is represented by LatchKey Gallery in New York City.


kent scruggs

From Athlete to the Operating Room

Kent Scruggs, DO, Grace Academy, Class of 2014

While at Grace Academy, Dr. Kent Scruggs blended outstanding scholarship and athleticism with his participation in local swim leagues, first as a swimmer and later as a coach. After graduating from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2017 (biology & chemistry with honors), he began a master’s degree program at East Tennessee State University in microbiology. After his first year, he was accepted into the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at Auburn, where he graduated with a Doctor of Osteopathy degree in 2022. Dr. Scruggs will begin his third year of residency this June in general surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, after which he will pursue his Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery (Robotic Surgery).

madison hayes

Leading the Pack

Madison Hayes, East Hamilton High School, Class of 2020

During her tenure at East Hamilton High School, Madison Hayes was a dedicated athlete and leader. She participated in varsity volleyball and basketball from eighth grade to senior year, sporting many top accolades and becoming a decorated athlete. As a senior, she was ranked by ESPN as the 25th best women’s basketball player in the country and received more than 25 Division I offers to play at the collegiate level. Now a senior guard for the North Carolina State Wolfpack, she was honored as a USBWA National Player of the Week, and, most recently, she represented NC State in their first March Madness Final Four Semifinal appearance since 1998. After college, Hayes hopes to play for the WNBA or to become an ESPN Broadcaster.


shikhar baheti

From Software Engineer to Serving the Community

Shikhar Baheti, Red Bank High School, Class of 2018

Shikhar Baheti combines academic excellence with a passion for community service. He graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Holistic Leadership. Currently, Baheti utilizes his skills as a software engineer at Amazon in Austin, Texas. Beyond his technical expertise, Baheti demonstrates exceptional leadership. He spearheaded the nation’s largest one-day student-led volunteering event, The Big Event, showcasing his commitment to giving back. He further extends his impact by volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, fostering positive relationships, and mentoring youth. Baheti exemplifies how leadership and technology can drive positive social change.


sarah ruf

Serving Others through Communications

Sarah Ruf, Collegedale Academy, Class of 2009

Sarah Ruf lives in Tempe, Arizona, serving as director of communications for the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. Her passion for communications and advocacy blossomed during her time at Collegedale Academy, where she served as editor of the Echolier. Ruf graduated from Southern Adventist University with a bachelor’s in international studies (Spanish) after studying in Argentina for a year. Her award-winning career led into other types of community roles, including working with the Arizona Conference Young Adult Advisory Team and serving on the board of Lighthouse Phoenix, a nonprofit assisting women seeking to leave the sex industry.


melanie weldon

Talent in the Visual Arts

Melanie Weldon, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, Class of 2013

Melanie Weldon graduated from Signal Mountain Middle/High School in 2013 as one of the first cohort of students to complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Chattanooga. She went on to attend the Savannah College of Arts and Design. Since her time at school, her digital production career has taken off. Her name can be seen in credits for films such as “The Adam Project,” “Eternals,” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Weldon is currently serving as visual effects production manager for Scanline VFX – Powered by Netflix and resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.

alexis eaton

Tackling Food Insecurity in Our Community

Alexis Eaton, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, Class of 2015

Alexis Eaton graduated from Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences in 2015. She then attended Wofford College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in government with a minor in sociology. While in college, she developed a senior research project to address student food insecurity on campus which led to the establishment of a food pantry called the Terrier Supply Closet, which is now in its fourth year of operation. After graduation, Eaton began working at the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. She currently serves as their programs coordinator, overseeing the food bank’s internal school programs in Hamilton County Schools and other schools within the food bank’s 20-county service area.


evan gaffney

A Gifted Globetrotter

Evan Gaffney, Tennessee Christian Preparatory School, Class of 2018

Evan “Swish” Gaffney earned many titles during his basketball career at Tennessee Christian – Most Valuable Player, All Tournament Award, and the Coach’s Award. And now, Gaffney has another title to add to that list – Harlem Globetrotter. Currently in his rookie season, Gaffney had a full circle moment as he returned to the Chattanooga area to UTC’s McKenzie Arena with the Globetrotters on April 14. Whether he travels the world or comes back to Tennessee, Gaffney exemplifies what is possible when hard work is combined with passion and skill.


olivia bandy

Mastering the Music Business

Olivia Bandy, Walker Valley High School, Class of 2018

During her time at Walker Valley High School, Olivia Bandy was an accomplished member of the Mustang Band, playing the flute. After graduation she moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University, where she attained a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in music business. Bandy completed several internships during college including a creative licensing intern position at Round Hill Music, and also released an EP titled “Here to Home.” She is currently the North American copyright coordinator at Sony Music Publishing in Nashville.

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