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Grayson teacher advances to Olympic finals in high jump

The Associated Press United States' Chaunte Lowe competes in a women's high jump qualification round during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London, on Thursday.

The Associated Press United States' Chaunte Lowe competes in a women's high jump qualification round during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London, on Thursday.

LOCALS IN LONDON

Click HERE to check out the Daily Post's complete coverage of the 2012 Olympics, including Gwinnett athletes competing in the Summer Games.

GRAYSON — High school students, teachers and administrators in Grayson continue to cheer on a new trigonometry teacher who just took one step closer to achieving her Olympic dreams.

Chaunte Lowe, 28, tied several others for second place Thursday in the women’s high jump qualifying rounds at the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the victory, she secured a spot in Saturday’s finals and a shot at Olympic gold.

Students and teachers sported red, white and blue shirts at the school Thursday as they rooted for the teacher.

Zachary Barnes, a 17-year-old senior at Grayson High School and one of Lowe’s students, said having an Olympian math teacher is pretty cool.

“It’s amazing, and I can’t wait to start learning, because you know she’ll be teaching just like she trains — with passion and hard work,” he said.

While Barnes hasn’t yet been introduced to his trig teacher, he’s thrilled to meet her when she comes back on Monday.

Principal David Hopson plans a welcome back ceremony for Lowe on Monday at the school.

“If she could bring home the gold that would be great,” Hopson said. “It’s her quest, and it’s ours as well. We are living vicariously through her. She has all of our support, and we’re pulling for her.”

Hopson said before he hired Lowe he was unaware she would be competing in the games. “We hired her for her abilities as an educator,” he said. “When we learned she was going to be going to London for the Olympics, that was a bonus.”

Lowe is not alone in her athletic prowess. She is married to Mario Lowe, a fellow Grayson High School teacher and world-class triple jumper who is also in London watching her compete.

The finals are scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday on NBC.