What do you call a young lady who is in the top 10 percent of her class, the team captain for the cheerleading squad, a region champion sprinter, and who served as the Class President for her freshman, sophomore, and senior class? You call her a world changer and a quadruple threat! That’s who Sandy Creek’s Tori Ector is.
It is very, very unique that a child is blessed with as many gifts as Tori Ector.
Her parents, Tommy and Chiquita Ector, say, “The academic gift manifested first. She has always worked hard and pushed herself to be in the top of her class. I remember her kindergarten teacher telling us ‘she will do great things one day.’ She is relentless and will stay up late to complete her assignments.”
Cheer coach and math teacher Alva McMillan added, “Ms. Ector has been able to manage all of her academic, personal, and professional goals to remain ranked in the top ten percent of her graduating class.”
Tori has truly mastered the art of time management. Not only does she participate in multiple activities, she also excels at each one. When asked how she balances all the activities that she participates in, Tori said, “Balancing cheer, track, and student leadership has always been hard. I tend to balance everything by doing them during different seasons. I make sure to complete each season before going into the next sport.
“Throughout my high school career I’ve been awarded High honor roll, national technical honor society, national society of high school scholars, All American cheerleader, junior Marshall, and senior all star. My favorite subject is science, specifically chemistry. I enjoyed studying different structures and compositions of things. I also had an amazing teacher who was very thorough in teaching and made sure we really learned the material and understood what we learned.”
A Natural Born Leader
Her parents joked, “As far as leadership goes she was a natural, always bossy.
“We have pushed her to be the leader of the pack. We have always told Tori to be a leader and not a follower. She has done a pretty good job. She has learned many lessons along the way, such as being a leader is tough, and it often at times come with a lot of criticism.”
“Tori Ector was elected as Class President by her peers during her Freshman, Sophomore, and Senior year. She is well respected by her classmates. Tori has an assertive personality and conveys her ideas to her peers in a manner that allows them to work cooperatively for meaningful discussions and outcomes. She recognizes the importance of self-awareness being a major component of working with a group to get results. It is with careful analysis and evaluation that she is able to defy any of her peers’ complacency and doubt to reach desired goals to benefit the greater environment,” added McMillan.
“She had to face the challenge of leading 20 girls on the cheerleading squad, along with working with her counterparts in leadership on the team. This required her to manage emotions, maneuver through conflict resolution, and negotiate with the coaching staff. Tori successfully conveyed the thoughts and perceptions of the squad to maintain a positive working relationship with the team and the coaching staff. She had to overcome personal setbacks by self analysis and then map out a plan of action to reach her personal goals and the team’s goals.
“Tori’s legacy to the cheerleading program will be her ability to command the room when necessary to ensure expectations are met, assist others with technique, and demonstrate true athleticism.”
An Athletic Superstar
Tori’s parents noticed her athletic talent quickly. “We saw it early. She was always one of the fastest kids in the neighborhood, and she was the leadoff hitter on her dad’s coach pitch t-ball team. She was faster than all the boys on the team. She has always been ambitious and this was seen at a very early age.”
McMillan said, “Tori has been a valuable and exceptional member of the cheerleading squad for four years. She lettered all four years and served as captain during her Junior and Senior year. Tori was chosen as a NCA All American Nominee for two years and made NCA All American Cheerleader for one year. She made the All Region 5-AAAA Team for cheerleading for two years.”
“She has become quite the young lady. She is very independent and a hard worker. She plans for her future and processes life pretty good for a 17-year-old person. She knows how to handle business and is very curious to learn new things. She is a thinker and a planner,” added the Ectors.
Tori said, “What I like most about the cheerleading team is that the girls and the coaches really became like family to me. The girls felt more like sisters than teammates. The cheerleading team was truly a support system for me throughout high school. I enjoyed doing a sport I loved for my school and just being a part of a program that really cares about their athletes. The coaches always tried to open doors for us to take our talents to the next level.”
Closing the Sandy Creek Chapter
When asked how they enjoyed Tori’s journey at Sandy Creek, Tori’s parents said, “For us, we are glad she was able to attend a school that has had a lot of academic and athletic success. It has allowed her to be a part of many great things at Sandy Creek. I have enjoyed seeing her grow up in a community that has such a strong family base.”
When asked what she would miss most about Tori, assistant cheer coach and counselor, Vivian Dunn said, “Tori will be missed greatly because of the presence she brings when she is in the room. She is an all-around nice young lady and well-rounded student. She is able to be the silliest person in the room, while at the same time about to be serious and passionate about whatever she believes in. She is an organizer and with her lead-by-example style of leadership, she has earned the respect of her peers as well as all of the adults with whom she has come in contact.”
“As her mentor, cheerleading coach, and mathematics educator, I have been able to work with Tori throughout her high school years. She has excelled as a gifted student, talented athlete, and strong leader. I am very proud of her and all that she has accomplished because she has truly demonstrated what it means to be a Great Sandy Creek Patriot! Watch out world, cause Tori Ector is destined to make her mark in society”, added McMillan.
When asked how they felt about Tori getting ready to graduate, the Ector’s said, “For us, it is bittersweet. She has done a fantastic job and we are very proud of her. You want to see your children grow and go out and do great things, but you still see them as your babies. We can’t wait to see what the next four years has in store for her. We are proud to have been a part of the process of raising her and glad to say she is our daughter.”
Tori added, “It’s a very bittersweet feeling. I’ve loved high school and have enjoyed every bit of it, but I am ready to move on to bigger and better things. I’m sad that it’s almost over, but I am ready for the next chapter in my life, which is college. What I will miss most about Sandy Creek are the teachers. Over the past four cheers I have built amazing relationships with majority of my teachers. I have always had a teacher that I could go to and talk about anything with them.”
Because her academic excellence and leadership, Tori was extended offers by University of Georgia, University of Alabama, University of Kentucky, University of South Carolina, Mercer University, and Hampton University. She has decided to attend the University of Georgia.
When asked why she chose UGA, Tori said, “ I chose the University of Georgia because I have always loved Georgia. I fell in love with the school when I was in 8th grade doing camps for the Duke TIP program at UGA. It is also relatively close to home and I feel like I will be able to really thrive at UGA.”
When asked her goals for her first year of college, Tori said, “My goals for freshman year are to finish the year with all A’s, join a few clubs and get involved, and find my niche in the school. I do not believe I will dive right into campus leadership freshman. I definitely will eventually get into campus leader but my freshman year will really be all about my grades and adjusting to the change.”
A Message For the World
When asked what they want the world to know about Tori, the Ectors said, “We want the world to know that Tori is an intelligent, creative, responsible and caring person. We know that she will be a major mover and shaker in the future.”
“Tori has a very supportive family. She has an older sister that is a Sandy Creek alum, a younger sister that is preparing to go into her third year as a SCHS cheerleader, and a younger brother at Flat Rock that shares her same birth date. Her mother and father can be seen supporting Sandy Creek to the fullest and have ingrained in their children the importance of going 100 percent and beyond in whatever you choose to do”, added Mrs. McMillan.
The Ectors added, “We see Tori starting her own business, helping others and living life to the fullest. We always tell Tori never set limits, because the sky is the limit. We know she will keep her family first and set the same expectations we set for her.”
Tori added, “If I could tell the world anything about Tori Ector, I would tell them about how hard I work and how disciplined and dedicated I am to the many activities I take part in. I would also want to tell them about my silly and playful side that many people don’t see because I am always in a hurry and busy doing a million things.”
Watch out world! Tori Ector is going to make a tremendous mark on society.