Valedictorians and Salutatorians lead the Class of 2024

Super Scholars 2024 graduation graphic

We are pleased to feature our high school valedictorians and salutatorians for this year.

 


Zack Ning is the valedictorian of Brandeis High School. He plans to attend the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY, majoring in Business/Computer Science with his future career still undecided.

During his time in Northside, he attended Locke Hill Elementary School, Rawlinson Middle School, and Garcia Middle School. He served as the President of Mu Alpha Theta during high school.

His most influential teacher was Thomas Wilson, who taught AP Physics in 11th and 12th grade at Brandeis High School. Ning shared, 鈥淭he amount of enthusiasm he brings to the classroom is unparalleled by any other teacher.鈥

Ning believes that under the care of 皇家华人, he built a strong academic foundation and time management skills that will carry over into his future endeavors. His favorite high school memory is going to sleep in between classes during the COVID-19 year.

 

Helen Luo is the salutatorian of Brandeis High School. She plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, majoring in Computer Science and pursuing a career as a software developer.

During her time in Northside, she attended Garcia Middle School and Beard Elementary School. Her most influential teacher was Bonnie Middleton, who taught her in 10th and 12th grade at Brandeis High School. Luo shared, 鈥淢s. Middleton is very transparent and understanding of her students; you can always count on her whenever you need a laugh. You鈥檒l never leave her classroom in a bad mood, as her lessons tend to be spontaneous, interactive, and exciting.鈥

Luo believes that the wide variety of courses and the flexibility in choosing her schedule at 皇家华人 have been very beneficial, helping her narrow down her interests and find a good balance between work and hobbies.

She also thanks her friends and family for their support. 鈥淎ppreciation to my friends and family who have gotten to know me beyond my academic pursuits. I am very grateful to leave high school with memories I can treasure forever.鈥

 


Megan Wilson is the valedictorian of Brennan High School. She plans to attend LSU Ogden Honors College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, majoring in Sociology with a focus on Criminology, and pursuing a career in the FBI or CSI. During her time at Northside, she attended Timberwilde Elementary, Lieck Elementary, and Bernal Middle School. 

She held several leadership positions in high school, including serving as Brennan Choir Co-President, Academic Decathlon Captain, Senior Class Secretary, and Student Council Energy and Environment Officer.

Her most influential teacher was Jimmy Garrett, her 10th through 12th grade Choir teacher at Brennan High School. Wilson shared, 鈥淢r. G has motivated me to enter his classroom with a personal greeting every single day, and to leave with a more positive attitude. Mr. G always ensured that I was openly exploring my passion for music daily while supporting my every endeavor (both in and out of his classroom). He has also ensured that all of his students develop a deeper and more mature understanding of the world around them by teaching valuable lessons when the appropriate situation arises. I would not be where I am today without his influence.鈥

Her favorite high school memory is realizing that most of the top 10 students of the senior class were her friends from middle school GT, and being able to grow up and continue to be friends with these hardworking individuals.

She is extremely grateful for all of her passionate teachers who have supported her in their own individual ways through her educational journey. She especially thanks her junior and senior year teachers for guiding her toward adulthood in the best way they could.

 

Noah Villanueva is the salutatorian of Brennan High School. He plans to attend The University of Texas at San Antonio, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and pursuing a career as an engineer.

During his time at Northside, he attended Langley Elementary School and Bernal Middle School. He received the Distinguished Presidential Scholarship and the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design Scholarship, both granted by UTSA.

He held several leadership positions in high school, including serving as Student Council President and Senior Class Vice President.

His most influential teacher was Colleen Guzman, his middle school English GT teacher at Bernal Middle School. Villanueva shared, 鈥淪he truly cared for her students, and it is shown greatly even today that the same care she had before is present.鈥

Villanueva believes that 皇家华人 has prepared him for college and his future career by allowing him to receive college credit, which will reduce his time spent in college, and by allowing him to explore 3D modeling, giving him a head start on certification for his career.

His favorite high school memory was his senior year homecoming game.

He also thanks his family for their support. 鈥淚 would like to thank my family for pushing me to be the best I can be. Specifically, my mom who always looked out for me and made sure I had opportunities, as well as my dad who always supported me and took me to all my extracurricular activities.鈥

 


Michael Daniel Weiner is the valedictorian of Clark High School. He plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Biology, and pursue a career as a physician.

During his time at Clark, he held various leadership positions including serving as Varsity Debate Captain, Spanish NHS Vice President, and Mu Alpha Theta Vice President.

His most influential teacher was Kevin Pumphrey, who taught Human Geo AP and World Area Studies. Weiner shared, 鈥淔rom his wry humor to captivating lesson plans, I couldn鈥檛 help but be engaged in his class. Every student who had the privilege of being taught by Mr. Pumphrey left his class much wiser.鈥

Weiner believes that 皇家华人 has prepared him for college and his future career through exceptional teachers, extracurricular opportunities, and a multitude of educational resources.

His favorite high school memory was the New York trip with the Model UN team.

He also thanks his parents and teachers for their support, his peers for their camaraderie, and Charlie for the motivation.

 

Charlie Weiner is the salutatorian of Clark High School. He plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Finance and pursuing a career as an attorney.

During his time at Clark, he held leadership positions such as National Honor Society President and Debate Team Co-captain.

His most influential teacher was Cristina McFarland, who taught him in 11th and 12th grade. Weiner shared, 鈥淢rs. McFarland has influenced me most through her role as a newcomer-English and second language teacher. Her humanitarian passion to better the lives of others has changed my approach to leadership and taught me that givers gain.鈥

Weiner believes that 皇家华人 has prepared him for college and his future career through ample opportunities to engage with his community, participate in community service initiatives, and compete in debate and Model UN, improving his public speaking and interpersonal skills.

His favorite high school memory was the Model UN trip to New York City.

He also thanks special people in his life. 鈥淚鈥檇 like to use this opportunity to thank those throughout my high school experience who have shaped me into who I am today. All of my teachers鈥攅specially Mrs. McFarland, Sr. Reginaldo, Mr. Yarborough, Mr. Pumphrey, and Mr. Phillips鈥攈ave challenged me intellectually and acknowledged the individual within me, teaching me life lessons that far transcend our required coursework. I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned from these exceptional educators and will take their personal and professional wisdom with me to the next chapter of my life.鈥

 


Advika Shankar, valedictorian of Communications Arts High School, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin to major in Business.

She attended John Hoffmann Elementary School and Dolph Briscoe Middle School. During high school, she served as SNHS Secretary, SNHS Vice President, and Environment Club Secretary.

Her most influential teacher was Maestra Delgado, who taught Spanish 3 Dual Credit, Spanish 4 AP Language and Culture, and Spanish 5 AP Literature and Culture. Shankar says, "Maestra Delgado always had a captivating and immersive way of teaching. Her enthusiasm made me realize the beauty of the Spanish language and culture and gave me a new positive approach to learning."

皇家华人 prepared her for college and her future career by providing her with resources and knowledge to succeed. "Being able to enroll in a magnet school exposed me to a curriculum promoting college readiness. Taking multiple AP, OnRamps, and Dual Credit classes prepared me for the rigor of college classes and taught me how to effectively study and hold myself accountable."

She extends her gratitude to her family: "I would like to thank my parents and my sister for their unwavering support. Their love and care have brought me where I am today, both as a student and as a person.

 

Victoria Johnson, salutatorian of Communications Arts High School, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin.

She attended Dr. Joe Ward Elementary School, John Hoffmann Elementary School, and Dolph Briscoe Middle School. During high school, she served as the Taft Raider Volleyball Manager, Student Council President, and Coding Club Founder/President.

Her most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Mrs. Jamie Fr铆as. Victoria says, "After taking her On-Ramps Arts and Entertainment class, she has always been there for me, staying after school until the late hours of the evening. Mrs. Fr铆as has taught me valuable lessons about academics and true character."

皇家华人 prepared her for college and her future career by teaching her valuable skills. "Through the rigor of AP, Dual Credit, and On-Ramps classes, paired with the amazing support system at Comm Arts and Taft, I feel fully equipped with time management, leadership, and communication skills needed to succeed in college."

Victoria's favorite high school memories include hosting pie-in-the-face during Turkey Fest for the student council, starting her own coding club, participating in UIL Computer Science, making tomato soup in AV, and eating tubs of ice cream with friends during lunch.

She extends her gratitude to her family and friends: "Firstly, I would like to thank my mom, dad, siblings Rudy, Isabella, Mikaela, and my whole family for all your support and guidance. I would also like to thank my senior friends: Brynn Dominguez, Isabella Garza, Melina Reyna, my whole AV group, especially Jo Dawn Adams and Mya Garcia. I鈥檓 honored to call you my family and friends, thank you, truly."

 


Dylan Edwards is the valedictorian of Construction Careers Academy (CCA). He will be serving a two-year mission trip in Cuzco, Peru, after which he plans to pursue a degree in Aerospace Engineering and a career as an aerospace engineer.

During his time at Northside, he attended Carson Elementary and Connally Middle School. He held leadership positions such as serving as a member of the Principal鈥檚 Cabinet at CCA and a Church Youth Group Leader.

His most influential teacher was James Lowder, his Engineering Instructor at CCA. Edwards shared, 鈥淗e has been with me through the past five years of my education career and taught me far more than any teacher about academic and life skills.鈥

Edwards believes that 皇家华人 has given him a great educational foundation and helped him build an effective work ethic.

His favorite high school memory is from his senior year when he helped his Engineering teacher find a solution to enhance educational material. 

 

Daniel Teran is the salutatorian of CCA. He plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and pursuing a career as a mechanical engineer.

During his time at Northside, he attended Fernandez Elementary and Zachry Middle School. He held leadership positions in high school, including being a member of the Principal鈥檚 Cabinet, the National Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society.

His most influential teacher was Justin King, his Math teacher at Zachry Middle School. Teran shared, 鈥淢r. King was a phenomenal teacher who sparked my interest in the STEM field. He cared greatly about student engagement, creating all sorts of fun games to keep students interested, making school feel less like a chore and more like a fun activity. Through his encouragement, he aided me in getting a perfect score on the Math STAAR, and building my confidence and belief that I can accomplish big things within the STEM field. Without Mr. King, I wouldn鈥檛 be nearly as successful or have as much confidence as I do today, which I鈥檓 eternally grateful for.鈥

Teran believes that 皇家华人 has prepared him for college and his future career through the diverse course selection offered, allowing him to explore different fields of study, solidify his goals and interests, and aid him in what he plans to accomplish in the future.

His favorite high school memory was within his Engineering course at CCA, where during his junior year, their instructor Mr. Lowder introduced them to programs such as AutoCAD and Inventor. Getting to utilize these programs puts into perspective how big the Engineering field can be, while also showing the fun aspects it can bring. Using these programs allowed them to create little side projects with their 3D printer.

He also thanks his friends, family, and teachers for always working to create a positive learning environment for him. 鈥淲ithout all of this internal support, I wouldn鈥檛 be where I am today.鈥

 


Ayla Reynolds, valedictorian of Harlan High School, will be attending Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, with plans to double major in Biochemistry and Mathematics.

She attended Langley Elementary School, Boldt Elementary School, and Bernal Middle School. In high school, she held leadership positions as the Water Polo Team Captain, a D&D Club Leader, and a Choir Officer.

Her most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Mrs. Jodi Wheeler, her 11th-grade AP BC Calculus teacher at Harlan High School. Ayla shares, "Mrs. Wheeler made calculus extremely fun and managed to explain it in a way that made it easy for me. It鈥檚 thanks to her that I鈥檓 planning on double-majoring in mathematics."

皇家华人 prepared her for college and her future career by helping her learn to meet deadlines and work under pressure, providing access to many college-level classes.

Ayla's favorite high school memory is playing water polo with her team and reaching new milestones together.

She extends her gratitude to her parents for their unwavering support and to her AP teachers for making learning more in-depth and interesting.

 

Christopher Alejandro Monroy, salutatorian of Harlan High School, will be attending Baylor University in Waco, TX, with plans to major in Music Education/Performance.

He attended Folks Middle School. In high school, he held leadership positions as the Marching Band Woodwind Captain, Inaugural Indoor Wind Captain, Band President, Marching Band Section Leader, and Uniform Liaison.

His most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Mr. Bobby De Leon, his music teacher at Harlan High School from freshman through senior year. Christopher shares, "As a future music educator, Mr. De Leon has been the educator who fueled my passion for music since I entered high school. His persistence built my love and passion for music and overall shaped my career in music."

皇家华人 prepared him for college and his future career by recruiting exceptional educators who helped him learn to carry himself as an individual and hold his responsibilities, especially in a college-like environment.

Christopher's favorite high school memory is the Band鈥檚 spring trip to New York, where he visited a lively city with his best friends, creating unforgettable experiences.

He extends his gratitude to his parents for their unconditional love and support, to his brothers for being amazing role models and friends, and to his teachers and friends for making him laugh, smile, and strive to be the best version of himself.

 


Baala Shakya, valedictorian of Health Careers High School, will be attending Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, with plans to double major in History and Global Affairs.

She attended Mireles Elementary School and Briscoe Middle School. In high school, she held leadership positions as the Class President, Texas State Junior Classical League Editor then President, Texas State HOSA Area 1 Historian and Reporter, HCHS HOSA Historian then President, and HCHS Latin Club Tribune and Ancient Geography Category Leader.

Her most influential 皇家华人 teachers were Mr. John Chu and Mr. Kenneth Van Eimeren from Health Careers High School. Baala shares, "They鈥檝e managed to impart within me a genuine love and appreciation for the classics, one that has been life-changing and which greatly influenced my decision to pursue the humanities in college."

皇家华人 prepared her for college and her future career by providing opportunities that she may not have had elsewhere, such as funding trips to Latin Nationals, where she met some of her best friends and accomplished things she could only dream of.

Baala's favorite high school memory is from the chaotic night before Powderpuff when the entire senior class worked together to decorate the senior hallway, reminiscing about the last four years they spent together.

She extends her gratitude to her parents for their unwavering support, to her sister Neva for her unconditional support, to her friends and teachers for their invaluable contributions to her growth and learning journey, and to her class for being an amazing group of people to spend the last four years with.

 

Julie Pham, salutatorian of Health Careers High School, will be attending The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), majoring in Microbiology and Immunology & Spanish.

She attended Folks Middle School, Helotes Elementary School (5th grade), Carnahan Elementary School (4th grade), and Steubing Elementary School (Pre-K - 3rd grade). In high school, she held a leadership position as the Creative Head of Decorating.

Her most influential 皇家华人 teachers were Mr. Edmond Tejeda and Ms. Elizabeth Apodaca from Health Careers High School. Julie shares, "Mr. Tejeda reassured me I belonged through his welcoming personality, teaching unforgettable life lessons. Ms. Apodaca has been understanding, caring, and kind, providing unrelenting support and making history lessons fun."

皇家华人 prepared her for college and her future career by providing opportunities to attend Health Careers High School and learn about the multifacetedness of medicine. The district also helped alleviate some costs for competitions, AP exams, and the SAT, enabling students like Julie to reach further into their future.

Julie's favorite high school memory is the lead-up to Powerpuff Decorating, where she and her friend Anusha painted giant murals while enjoying each other's company and the nature around them.

She extends her gratitude to her parents for their endless love and support, to her brother for believing in her, and to all her friends across HCHS who kept a smile on her face through tough times.

 


Luis Escalon, valedictorian of Holmes High School, will be attending either UTSA or the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, majoring in Pre-Medicine.

He attended Villarreal Elementary School and Sul Ross Middle School. In high school, Luis held leadership positions.

His most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Ms. Shannon Rojas from Holmes High School. Luis shares, "Ms. Rojas initiated my passion for medical science. Her motivation within the curriculum and her character brought people together, encouraging us to pursue our goals."

皇家华人 prepared him for college and his future career by offering a CCMA class, allowing him to graduate with a national certification for a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and exposing him to the medical field.

Luis's favorite high school memory was playing for regionals in mariachi, sharing the passion for music with others.

He expresses gratitude for the opportunities Holmes High School offers students to explore their passions and interests.

 

Gabriela Ozuna, salutatorian of Holmes High School, will be attending Texas A&M University in College Station, majoring in Biomedical Science.

She attended Colby Glass Elementary and Pat Neff Middle School. In high school, Gabriela was a four-year varsity letter soccer player, serving as captain during her varsity and freshman years.

Her most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Yvette Pavon from Colby Glass Elementary. Gabriela shares, "Mrs. Pavon helped me realize that even as just a fourth grader I should set my goals high and strive to reach them. She's one of the reasons why I strived to succeed academically and put forth my best effort."

皇家华人 prepared her for college by providing Dual Credit classes, AP classes, and OnRamps classes, giving her a head start on college and allowing her to experience a college workload while still in a supportive learning environment.

Gabriela's favorite high school memory is being a part of the soccer team, enjoying practices and games with teammates who shared her passion for soccer.

She extends her gratitude to her friends and family for their unwavering belief in her and their encouragement to always strive for better.

 


Sofia Rubio, valedictorian of Jay High School, will be attending Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI, majoring in Theater Technology and Design.

She attended Michael Elementary and Rayburn Middle School. In high school, Sofia held various leadership positions, including Drama Club President, Thespian President, and Class President.

Her most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Nora Moreno-Jarrell from John Jay High School. Sofia shares, "Mrs. Jarrell has taught me everything I know about being a leader and a professional in theater. She believes in me and pushes me to be the best I can be."

皇家华人 prepared her for college and her future career by providing hands-on experience and allowing her to explore her love for theater while enhancing her craft.

Sofia's favorite high school memory is volunteering with her 皇家华人 Student leaders for the Northside Leadership Academy.

She extends her gratitude to Mr. Gardner for teaching her valuable life lessons and consistently supporting theater and the Fine Arts.

 

Monzerrate Calvillo, salutatorian of Jay High School, will be attending Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, majoring in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences with a focus on Speech-Language Pathology.

She attended Fisher Elementary and Rayburn Elementary. In high school, Monzerrate held various leadership positions, including Cheer Captain, Mariachi Group Leader, and NHS Vice President.

Her most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Mr. Peter Shields from Mary Lou Fisher Elementary. Monzerrate shares, "Having Mr. Shields as my fourth-grade teacher is something I am grateful for because without a teacher like him, I would never have survived that difficult transition, and I wouldn鈥檛 be the student I am today."

皇家华人 prepared her for college and her future career by providing opportunities to take college-level classes and inspiring her to pursue Speech-Language Pathology through interactions with 皇家华人 Speech-Pathologists.

Monzerrate's favorite high school memories include participating in cheer and mariachi, forming lasting friendships, and performing at football games.

She extends her gratitude to 皇家华人 for the experiences and friendships she gained, shaping her high school journey.

 


Victor R. W. Moran, valedictorian of Jay Science and Engineering Academy, will be attending The University of Texas Austin to major in Mechanical Engineering.

He attended Elrod Elementary and Connally Middle School. In high school, Victor held leadership positions in JROTC, NHS, the ACE Mentorship Program, STEAM Fest, and the Academic Research Team.

His most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Leona Deleon from Connally Middle School. Victor says, "Mrs. Deleon curated a safe environment that allowed me to mature while developing interpersonal skills that would allow me to thrive in almost any circumstance, be it personal or professional."

皇家华人 prepared him for college and his future career by providing rigorous coursework and diverse communities that enhanced his communication skills and ability to work at a collegiate level.

Victor's favorite high school memory is making chicken and waffles during finals.

He extends his gratitude to Mrs. Deleon and others who supported him throughout his educational journey.

 

Xavier Zabel, salutatorian of Jay Science and Engineering Academy, will be attending Texas A&M University at College Station to major in Aerospace Engineering with the goal of becoming an Astronautical Engineer.

He attended Mireles Elementary and Briscoe Middle School. In high school, Xavier held leadership positions as the Swim Team Captain and Water Polo Captain.

His most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Lorie Logan from Briscoe Middle School. Xavier says, "Mrs. Logan was my 8th grade science teacher and she has been the nicest and most welcoming teacher I鈥檝e ever had. She made science my favorite 皇家华人 and I will always be thankful for her amazing teaching."

皇家华人 prepared him for college and his future career through a strong curriculum, advanced placement options, career-focused programs, engaging extracurricular activities, and an emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Xavier's favorite high school memory was winning the district championship for water polo in his senior year. He spent all four years building towards this achievement, and celebrating the win with his teammates made all the hard work worth it.

He extends special thanks to his parents, Amy and Larry Zabel, for their unwavering support throughout his journey. Additionally, he cherishes memories from each year of high school, from free time during Freshman year due to Covid-19 to making waffles with his engineering class, going to the river in Bandara, Texas with friends, and playing basketball during lunch in Senior year.

 


Ashley Wenzel, the valedictorian of Marshall High School, will be attending Texas A&M University in College Station, majoring in Psychology with aspirations of becoming a neuropsychologist. She attended Braun Station Elementary School and Stevenson Middle School.

In high school, Ashley held leadership positions as the Vice President of National Honor Society, member of Academic Decathlon, Senior Mentor, and member of Science National Honor Society. Her most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Ms. Carla Blackwell, her AVID teacher during her freshman and sophomore years at Marshall High School. Ms. Blackwell provided Ashley with guidance and comfort during her transition to high school, inspiring her to be the best person possible.

皇家华人 prepared Ashley for college and her future career by providing a community of like-minded individuals and rigorous classes that encouraged her to work harder. She learned the value of perseverance and resilience, which she will continue to apply throughout college and her career.

Ashley's favorite high school memory was going to state with her Academic Decathlon team. They competed against teams across the state at UIW in downtown San Antonio and enjoyed spending time together outside of the competition, including going bowling on their last night.

She expresses her deepest gratitude to her family and friends for being the foundation of her success, especially her parents, who have been her guiding light and instilled in her the confidence to pursue her dreams. She thanks them for their eternal love and support and for shaping her into the person she is today.

 

Jaylen Moore, the salutatorian of Marshall High School, will be attending Texas A&M University in College Station, majoring in Chemical Engineering with aspirations of becoming a Chemical Engineer. He attended James L. Carson Elementary School and Coke R. Stevenson Middle School.

Jaylen considers Stacey Zodda, his 11th and 12th-grade teacher at John Marshall High School, as his most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Ms. Zodda always supported him and helped him succeed, even advocating for a class that would help him achieve his goals. Jaylen appreciates her caring attitude towards all students.

皇家华人 prepared Jaylen for college through AP/dual credit classes, which allowed him to experience the rigor of college-level coursework. He feels ready to tackle the challenges of college because of these experiences.

One of Jaylen's favorite high school memories was making chocolate-covered strawberries with his friends for an end-of-the-year project in AP Biology. It was a fun and unique experience that he cherishes.

Jaylen expresses his gratitude to his mother for supporting him and allowing him to pursue his dreams. He also thanks all his teachers for the valuable lessons they taught him, which helped him develop confidence and skills for his academic career.

 


Marshall Law and Medical Services

Sally Saleh, the valedictorian of Marshall Law and Medical Services, is headed to St. Mary鈥檚 University in San Antonio, Texas, to major in Political Science with aspirations of becoming a General Attorney. She attended Carson Elementary School and Stevenson Middle School.

In high school, Sally held leadership roles as the Softball Junior Varsity Captain, Varsity Debate President, member of the National Honor Society & Science National Honor Society, and member of the Principal鈥檚 Cabinet. Her most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Ashley Parra from John Marshall High School. Sally says, "Ms. Parra provided a safe space for me to voice my concerns, whether they were related to school or issues at home. Without her unwavering support and encouragement, I wouldn't be where I am today."

皇家华人 prepared Sally for college and her future career by offering challenging coursework, dual credit and AP classes, which provided a head start in her college education and equipped her with the skills needed for higher education.

Her favorite high school memory was joining Mock Trial in her senior year, where she gained valuable insights into her career path and enjoyed competing with her team.

Sally extends her gratitude to her family and friends for their unwavering support throughout her high school journey. She acknowledges her parents, siblings, and friends for believing in her and encouraging her to pursue her dreams. She thanks everyone who has played a part in her education journey, expressing her heartfelt appreciation for their belief in her, encouragement, and love.

 

Alyssa Marina Homsy, the salutatorian of Marshall Law and Medical Services, will be attending St. Mary鈥檚 University in San Antonio, TX, majoring in Political Science with aspirations of becoming an attorney. She attended Braun Station Elementary School and Connally Middle School.

In high school, Alyssa held leadership positions as the Captain of the LMS Mock Trial program, President of the National Honor Society, Secretary of the Science National Honor Society, and member of the LMS Principal鈥檚 Cabinet and Academic Decathlon team. Her most influential 皇家华人 teacher was Leona Deleon, her middle school theater teacher, who helped her come out of her shell and taught her the value of teamwork in creating art.

皇家华人 prepared Alyssa for college and her future career by offering AP and Dual Credit classes, allowing her to earn college credits while in high school and surrounding her with motivated peers who inspired her to be her best.

Her favorite high school memory was her Mock Trial State Conference during her senior year, where she enjoyed every moment of the experience, from exploring the State Capitol building to riding roller coasters with friends.

Alyssa extends her gratitude to her family for their love and support, especially her mom, and to Mrs. Shiloh Love, her fourth-grade teacher, for teaching her valuable life lessons. She also thanks all her school teachers, dance teachers, and friends who have shaped her into the person she is today.

 


Northside School of Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship (NSITE)

Ilya Ostanin Fitzhugh, the valedictorian of NSITE High School, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Biochemistry, with aspirations to become a Biologist. Ilya previously attended OTT Elementary and Luna Middle School.

皇家华人 prepared Ilya for college and future careers by providing opportunities to learn programming skills and mentions Eric Campbell as his most influential teacher. Ilya extends his gratitude to Leslie Vasquez and Ronalee Flores.

 

Cassaundra Ritch, the salutatorian of NSITE High School, will be attending Scripps College in Claremont, California, for her undergraduate studies. She is currently undecided about her major and future career.

Cassaundra previously attended Helotes Elementary and Garcia Middle School before graduating from NSITE High School.

During her education, Cassaundra did not hold any formal leadership positions, but she credits Suzanne Herrera from Garcia Middle School as her most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Ms. Herrera's advanced English class challenged Cassaundra, fostering her ambition to pursue education.

皇家华人 prepared Cassaundra for college and future careers by providing knowledgeable and ambitious teachers who encouraged her multidisciplinary perspective and determination to flourish.

Cassaundra's favorite high school memories revolve around the prevailing merriment from her blossoming awareness of individuals, cultures, and sciences, which strengthened her understanding of life.

She extends her gratitude to Mr. Robert Stafford, Ms. Samantha Crawford, Dr. Elias Gonzalez, Ms. Kelly Braun, Ms. Rachel Sarret, and many other teachers who fostered her learning journey.

 


Spencer Halstead, the valedictorian of O'Connor High School, will be attending Texas A&M University in College Station, majoring in Visualization with aspirations of becoming a Visual Effects Artist. He attended Wanke Elementary School and Jefferson Middle School.

In high school, Spencer held leadership positions as the President of the Science National Honor Society and as the Secretary for the Class of 2024.

He considers Gina Reina, the GT Specialist at Wanke Elementary, as his most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Ms. Reina encouraged Spencer to analyze topics from different perspectives and made GT classes engaging. Her impact made him more dedicated, inquisitive, and empathetic.

皇家华人 has prepared Spencer for college and his future career by allowing him to connect with people and learn about dedication and follow-through. Through AP classes, UIL, and fine arts, he gained valuable experiences from those with more expertise.

One of Spencer's favorite high school memories was the annual Science National Honor Society cardboard boat race.

He expresses his gratitude to Ms. Loretta and Ms. Sally for always pushing him forward and looks forward to seeing them every day.

 

Liam Meister, the salutatorian of O'Connor High School, will be attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, majoring in BFA Acting and Political Science. He attended Steubing Elementary School and Garcia Middle School.

In high school, Liam held leadership positions as the President of the National Honor Society, President of OC Theatre, Secretary and Co-Founder of the Computer Science Club, State Thespian Officer for Texas Thespians, and Fine Arts Officer for 皇家华人.

He considers Michael Arellano, a teacher at O'Connor High School, as his most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Mr. Arellano broadened Liam's perspective and helped him accept himself. He provided invaluable feedback and collaborated with Liam to produce exceptional work.

皇家华人 prepared Liam for college and his future career by teaching him how to learn independently and pursue his passions vigorously. Liam gained a greater understanding of humanity and social systems through his experiences in school.

Liam's favorite high school memory was during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he developed his own style of learning and fostered a sense of self-motivation and independence.

He extends his gratitude to the entire administration at O'Connor High School for providing a supportive environment. Special thanks to Darrell Clarke, Marcus Sandoval, Danica Feig, Persephone Amato, and Fletcher Fenn for their friendship and support. Liam expresses deep appreciation to his family and parents for their unwavering support.

 


Aditya Bhardwaj, the valedictorian of Sotomayor High School, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Computer Science. 

Aditya considers Mr. Jackson Wolek, his teacher during his junior and senior years, as his most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Mr. Wolek supported Aditya in his AP classes and Current Events Club, contributing significantly to his success.

皇家华人 prepared Aditya for college by exposing him to diverse people and a wide variety of academic fields. Aditya's favorite high school memory is being part of various sports and clubs with like-minded people. He extends special thanks to his parents for their unwavering support in and out of school.

 

Leah Hsin-Tzu Yuan, the salutatorian of Sotomayor High School, will be attending Texas A&M University at College Station, majoring in Biomedical Science, with aspirations to become a veterinarian. She previously attended Folks Middle School.

During her high school years, Leah held leadership positions as the Vice President of the International Student Club and the Eco Club.

Leah considers Sally Gonzales, her teacher at Sotomayor High School, as her most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Sally Gonzales guided Leah in environmental initiatives and encouraged her to become a leader in the Eco Club, fostering her confidence and passion for making a positive impact on the world.

皇家华人 prepared Leah for college by exposing her to diverse people and academic fields, allowing her to take college-level courses and earn college credit.

Her favorite high school memory is meeting international exchange students from Korea, Thailand, and Switzerland. This experience allowed her to appreciate cultural differences and broaden her understanding of the world.

Leah extends her gratitude to her family and friends for their unwavering support throughout her academic journey. She also expresses appreciation to her teachers for challenging and inspiring her. Leah is proud to be named the first Salutatorian of Sonia Sotomayor High School and looks forward to carrying the lessons learned and relationships built into her future endeavors.

 


Sofia Vaquera, the valedictorian of Stevens High School, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Statistics and Data Science, with aspirations to become a Data Scientist. She previously attended Bob Lewis Elementary and Vale Middle School.

During her high school years, Sofia held leadership positions as Vice President of Administrative Services in the Stevens Orchestra Council, Cello Section Leader in the Stevens Varsity Orchestra, and Treasurer in the Stevens Texas Future Music Educators (TFME).

Sofia considers Ms. Lisa Cylkowski, her math teacher at Stevens High School, as her most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Ms. Cylkowski's outstanding teaching and genuine care for students' well-being inspired Sofia and affirmed her love for mathematics. As a female STEM teacher, Ms. Cylkowski serves as an inspiration for Sofia, demonstrating the critical role women can play in STEM fields.

皇家华人 prepared Sofia for college and her future career by offering advanced courses such as AP and OnRamps classes, which helped her better prepare for rigorous coursework.

Her favorite high school memory was performing with the UIL Region 29 Symphony Orchestra. Being selected by audition for all four years of high school made her senior year particularly special, as it was the culmination of all her years of playing the cello.

Sofia extends her gratitude to her parents for their unwavering support and encouragement throughout her educational journey, as well as her sisters for sharing invaluable advice and experience. She also thanks several teachers for their guidance and support, including Mr. Joshua Crawford, Mr. Royce Cook, Mr. Brandon Utterback, Mr. Justin Rosenbaum, Mr. Michael Murphy, Ms. Jennifer Mann, Ms. Alex-Marie Michael, Ms. Casey Anderson, Ms. Meri Ann Christopher, Mr. Timothy Logan, and Ms. Nicole Christensen.

 

Ismael Duran, the salutatorian of Paul Stevens High School, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Biology on a Pre-med track, with aspirations to become a Physician, particularly interested in orthopedic or anesthesia fields. Eventually, he aims to contribute to teaching and training at a medical school or teaching hospital. Ismael previously attended Forester Elementary and Vale Middle School.

During his high school years, Ismael held leadership positions as President of the National Honor Society and Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, The Talon.

He considers Katherine Garrett, his math teacher at Stevens High School, as his most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Ms. Garrett's pre-calculus and stats classes inspired Ismael, showing him the utility and necessity of math in various situations, particularly in medical studies and experiments.

皇家华人 prepared Ismael for college and his future career by offering rigorous and challenging courses at Stevens High School and providing opportunities to earn college credit through dual enrollment or AP classes. By graduation, he will have earned 33 college credits through NVC, equivalent to a year's worth of college coursework.

His favorite high school memory was visiting UT in the summer before senior year with two other students from Stevens through journalism. He met many amazing people, made new friends, and gained insights into college life through workshops, which has now come full circle as he prepares to pursue his undergraduate education there.

Ismael extends his gratitude to his parents for teaching him the value of hard work and dedication and for pushing him to ensure he receives an education and can pursue his passion.

 


Loc Le, the valedictorian of Taft High School, will be attending Texas A&M University, College Station, majoring in Chemistry. He aspires to become an Air Force Officer and Surgeon, with particular interest in orthopedic or anesthesia fields. Eventually, he aims to contribute to teaching and training at a medical school or teaching hospital.Loc previously attended Langley Elementary School, Mireles Elementary School, and Briscoe Middle School.

During his high school years, Loc served as a Section Leader in the school band and as a Flight Sergeant in JROTC. He considers Donald Ellis, his OnRamp Chemistry teacher at William Howard Taft, as his most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Mr. Ellis's passion for chemistry and his clear teaching style ignited Loc's interest in the 皇家华人, leading him to pursue a degree in chemistry in college.

皇家华人 prepared Loc for college and his future career by imparting various life skills and offering a variety of collegiate-level courses. These experiences helped Loc discover his career path and solidify his passion for chemistry.

His favorite high school memory was when a snowstorm hit during his freshman year, leading to a whole week of school cancellation.

Loc extends his gratitude to his parents for their unwavering support throughout his life, especially during the transition to a new country with a different language. He also thanks his friends for making his high school experience more enjoyable.

 

Arianna Xochitl Aguero, the salutatorian of William Howard Taft High School, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Chemistry. She aspires to become a Doctor practicing General Surgery. Arianna previously attended Langley Elementary School, Mireles Elementary School, and Briscoe Middle School.

During her high school years, Arianna was a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. She considers Donald Ellis, her Chemistry teacher at William Howard Taft High School, as her most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Mr. Ellis's dedication to teaching and passion for science inspired Arianna to pursue a degree in Chemistry in college. His clear teaching style and commitment to student success encouraged her to excel in the 皇家华人 and pursue advanced studies.

皇家华人 prepared Arianna for college and her future career by offering rigorous academic courses and opportunities for leadership and community involvement. Participation in extracurricular activities like the National Honor Society and community service projects helped Arianna develop essential skills for her future profession.

Her favorite high school memories revolve around learning and discovering her passion for science and helping others. These experiences brought meaning to her overall high school journey. Arianna extends her gratitude to her teachers for providing her with a great learning experience and inspiring her to succeed. She also thanks her sister for serving as a role model and her friends for making her high school experience memorable and enjoyable.

 


Katrina Martini, the valedictorian of Warren High School, will be attending UTSA before transferring to UT Health in San Antonio. She plans to major in Nursing, aspiring to become a Registered Nurse.

Katrina previously attended Jordan Middle School. During her high school years, Katrina was a member of the colorguard team.She considers Ms. Noel Anderson, her middle school art teacher at Jordan Middle School, as her most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Ms. Anderson's eccentric teaching style and passion for art inspired Katrina and taught her the valuable lesson that mistakes are inevitable but can lead to growth.

皇家华人 prepared Katrina for college by providing numerous college-credit opportunities such as AP, Dual, and OnRamps classes, which helped her learn time management and handle a heavy workload. Her favorite high school memories revolve around the colorguard program, which provided her with a sense of belonging and community.

Katrina extends her gratitude to her siblings and family, especially her parents, for their unwavering support throughout her academic journey.

 

Juliana Trevino, the salutatorian of Warren High School, will be attending The University of Texas at Austin. She plans to major in Neuroscience with aspirations to pursue a career in Dentistry or Orthodontics. Juliana previously attended Jordan Middle School.

During her high school years, Juliana served as the Head Social Officer of the Warren Varsity Dance Team. She considers Gregory Combs, her science teacher at Warren High School, as her most influential 皇家华人 teacher. Mr. Combs's engaging teaching methods, incorporation of lab opportunities, and college-level environments fueled Juliana's passion for science, motivating her to continue studying it in her undergraduate studies.

皇家华人 prepared Juliana for college and her future career by providing rigorous AP classes that contributed to her college readiness and academic integrity. Additionally, the diverse and inclusive extracurricular activities, workshops, and festivals cultivated open-minded perspectives among students.

Her favorite high school memory was senior night with the Majestics dance team during the football season.

Juliana extends her gratitude to her parents and older sister for their unwavering support and motivation. She also thanks her middle school GT teacher, Ms. Gonzalez, and high school anatomy teacher, Mrs. Rizo, for being significant inspirations and caring individuals throughout her academic journey.