UPDATE May 7, 2019:

Zavier Chavez is among the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts and career and technical education fields. Only one other student from Tennessee was chosen. 

The scholars are chosen annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Previous story from February 2019:

The valedictorian of the senior class at Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts (CCA) is also the class president and the drummer in the school’s jazz band.

When it came time to apply for colleges, he aimed high and achieved yet another goal. He’s headed to Harvard.

Zavier Chavez is a young man of many talents and interests.  Since enrolling at Center for Creative Arts in sixth grade, he’s been active in the school’s music program and has excelled in honors and advanced placement classes.

"I'm glad those challenging classes are mandatory," he said. "You learn to get your work done."

He gives CCA a lot of credit for his success. He said the school's arts programs instill discipline and a strong work ethic.

Now, Zavier is preparing for his next chapter. Recently he learned that he has been accepted at Harvard University.  It’s a rare accomplishment for a Hamilton County student, and he considers it a great honor.

"I'm not trying to be better than anyone else," he said. "I'm delighted, but more than anything else, I'm thankful."

His teachers are not surprised. They cite his commitment to helping others and his determination.  Most impressively. they admire his modesty.   He may be Harvard-bound, but he’s the same Zavier they’ve come to know and love. 

"He listens to other people's opinions, and that quality, as much as his intellectual capacity, will serve him well in his future career," Nader Mohyuddi said.

Zavier says he will participate in ROTC programs at Harvard, and plans to become a lawyer specializing in military justice.