Woodland High School celebrates first African-American male to earn valedictorian

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A Woodland High School senior is preparing for a major milestone. He graduates high school on Friday with a 4.7 GPA. At that time, he will officially become the first African-American male in the school's history to earn the title of valedictorian.

"I'm not a genius," says Rawlin Tate, Jr. "Stuff doesn't just click all the time for me. "I have to go in to tutoring. I have to study to see how I can get the correct answer. I always ask questions in class. I always go to my teachers. So, it's a lot of behind the scenes work, as well."

The 18-year-old enrolled in 21 advanced placement courses. He told FOX 5's Kerry Charles, the lowest grade on his high school transcript is a 98.

His former A.P. English teacher says Tate story should inspire more than just students.

"Just because you reach a wall doesn't mean you have to stop," says Cassaundra Bell, Woodland High School guidance counselor. "You can push through that. He is an embodiment of that."

More than a dozen colleges and universities have accepted Tate. Combined, they've offered him more than $1.2M in scholarships. He plans to attend North Carolina A&T State University and study mechanical engineering.