When she was in the 8th grade, Laura Camille Cordova was informed that she was at the top of the student rankings for her class. It was a spot she would hold on to for the next four years. “I didn’t think I was smart enough to be the top student so when I found out, I made sure to try and keep that spot,” said the confident senior. Following her long path of achievements, Cordova has officially been named the 2015 Valedictorian of San Benito High School, finishing her final semester with a perfect 4.0 G.P.A.
The former SBHS band star and Leo Club member will be attending the University of North Texas at Denton, where she will double major in Music Performance and Political Science with hopes of one day playing flute for a professional orchestra. “My dream is to be a professional orchestral flautist,” said Cordova. Though many schools, including Baylor and Texas Tech, tried recruiting Cordova, it was the top of the line music program at North Texas that ultimately set the school apart. “They (North Texas) are ranked number three in the State of Texas for music and you have to audition just to get in,” said Cordova.
In addition to being the top academic student in her class, Cordova has been one of the top flute players in the entire Valley since her freshman year, earning numerous distinctions including a spot on the Texas Music Educators All-State Band the last two years. “It’s the most prestigious honor you can receive in band… It’s the top 35 flutes in the State,” explained Cordova.
With clear goals and unlimited ambition, Cordova is set to make a name for herself outside of the Valley with her love for music being the driving force. “Hard work pays off… I know that I’ll be prepared for college because I didn’t cheat my way through, I earned it,” added Cordova.
By PETE BANDA
All Clarissa Garcia ever set out to do was her absolute best in every class she took. Well, her absolute best got her a 3.95 G.P.A., good enough to be named the Salutatorian of the 2015 San Benito High School Senior class. A member of several clubs and teams including the back to back State champion Chess team and the National Honor Society, Garcia plans to attend Texas A&M College Station where she will major in Petroleum Engineering.
In addition to her spots on the Chess team and soccer team, Garcia was a member of the Key club, Business Professionals of America, and the Cross Country team while still maintaining the number two academic spot in her class. “I really wasn’t planning it… I just knew I wanted to do my best in all my classes,” said the soft-spoken senior.
Despite shining in academics and several clubs, Garcia listed time management as her hardest part of high school with very little free time for herself. “It happened sometimes but it was rare… When it did happen it was for church or I would volunteer somewhere,” added Garcia.
Garcia listed her physics class as her favorite, but it was after taking an environmental science class last year, one of her more influential classes, that Garcia decided Petroleum Engineering was where she wanted to do and immediately set her eyes on College Station. “I knew from the start that I wanted to go to College Station so when I got the offer from them it was perfect,” said Garcia. While Garcia admits she will miss the routine of High School, she is ready and eager for the independence college will bring her and anticipates continued success at the next level of education.
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