Mercer Sullivan is off to Wake Forest!


Photo provided by Mercer Sullivan

Lia Blackard, Online Editor

RJ Reynolds senior Mercer Sullivan has been a part of the Pine Whispers staff for three years. She started as a staff writer and worked her way up to become managing editor by her junior year and editor-in-chief for her senior year. She has not only been an incredible asset to the newspaper staff but she has also made her mark on Reynolds and the Winston Salem community. 

Sullivan has partaken in many activities in the community as well as during her time at Reynolds. She has been a captain of the RJ Reynolds Varsity Tennis Team her junior and senior year and she is currently the president of Girls Council. Sullivan is also

Photo provided by Mercer Sullivan

a member of the National Honors Society, academic team, French national Honor Society, and is the head manager of the Reynolds varsity boys lacrosse team. In her spare time, she volunteers for the YMCA as a girls soccer and basketball coach and is a sailing instructor in Maine during the summers. 

During her junior year, Mercer took AP United States History with John Clevenger. She brought unique ideas and a good work ethic to the classroom.

Mercer was a very engaged student,” Clevenger said. “She would actively participate in our discussions and ask thoughtful questions. She wasn’t afraid to question her friends’ conclusions or even mine!! She had a lot of confidence, but not in an arrogant sort of way and she performed very well on a variety of assessments.”

She was a role model to many not only in the classroom but on the tennis courts as well. She spent four years playing on the Varsity Tennis team with coach Johnny Highsmith. 

What I have been impressed with over my time with Mercer as a person is how grounded she is,” Highsmith said. “She is comfortable in her own skin. She’s also not so wrapped up in herself that she’s going to let life slip past her. She lives in and enjoys the moment.”

Sullivan has been an amazing student to have on campus at RJR. Now, she is taking her confidence, strong leadership skills,

Photo provided by Mercer Sullivan

brilliance, and more with her to Wake Forest University. Highsmith has high hopes for her there, as he was a Wake graduate as well. 

“Being a graduate of Wake Forest myself I’m excited to see her head up Reynolda Road for the next 4 years,” Highsmith said. “She will excel at Wake and in life, just as she has at RJR. I look forward to seeing what the 2025 Mercer Sullivan will be like.”

Clevenger also looks forward to seeing what Sullivan will accomplish her time not only at Wake but beyond too. 

I hope that Mercer continues to seek new and exciting learning opportunities that will stretch her current understanding of the world,” Clevenger said. “Additionally, I hope that she finds a place where she feels like she belongs and a place where she can comfortably be herself.”

Congratulations on completing these last four years of high school! Everyone is looking forward to seeing you tackle future endeavors and thrive.