Rogers named Class of 2012 valedictorian

Derek Rogers arrived at Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro in 2009 as a high-school sophomore in need of some direction.

“My attitude and my grades were horrible,” said Rogers, a native of Richmond who is leaving Fishburne this weekend as the Class of 2012 valedictorian.

The focus and discipline that is the focus of life at Fishburne, a 130-cadet all-boys private school founded in 1879, were keys to Rogers’ eventual success.

And that success, as it came in the classroom and on the drill field, started to feed on itself.

“As soon as I started getting all As, it was hard to not get all As. You’re in that rhythm of doing your work, studying, just get all your work done,” said Rogers, who is headed to the University of Florida in the fall to study sports management.

“I picked sports management because all my life, I’ve been a sports fan. I love it, all of it, the backstage stuff in sports, not just the gameday,” said Rogers, who plans to go to law school with the goal of becoming a sports agent.

But that’s off in the distance. As his days at Fishburne come to a close, Rogers knows he’s leaving the school with “an amazing advantage in time-management skills, organization and leadership.”

“I definitely don’t plan on going to Florida and not standing out. I feel like when I get there, I’m going to stand out, not only because of my attributes, but also because of what I’ve had to go through at Fishburne. There’s nothing that can really scare me now,” Rogers said.


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