J.W. Mitchell High Valedictorian and Salutatorian of 2013

Paige DePagter | valedictorian

Parent's names: Chad DePagter, Jane DePagter

GPA: 3.9795; Weighted: 4.6136

Future school: University of South Florida

Most influential or best teacher: Ed Braddy

Hardships overcome: My brother's battle with lymphoma last year definitely impacted my life tremendously. I spent a lot of time with him in the hospital and had to work harder at things that had previously been so easy.

Favorite book: Prague by Arthur Phillips

Clubs, extracurricular activities, employment: Health Occupation Students of America, Academy for the Medical Arts, Interact, National Honor Society, Teen Court, Youth Leadership Pasco class of 2012

If you could increase spending on education, what areas do you think deserve the most attention and why? In increasing spending on education, I think that we should extend the availability and capacities of the academic academies. These academies, such as the Business Management and Medical Arts, allow their students hands-on experience in the career field, letting them get to know what it is really like. I believe money should be spent to expand these academies to not only provide opportunities for going straight into the workplace, but to offer higher level classes for students continuing college.

Favorite quote

"If you're into denying yourself things and then you deny yourself even the pleasure of denying yourself things, that's got to hurt."

Arthur Phillips, novelist

Sage advice for the up and coming: Take the classes you want to take, not because they are worth more credit or your friends are taking them; those classes will not help you. Don't be afraid to be the person with two science courses, or two math courses and just be yourself. Your experience at high school will be more enjoyable if you like what you are studying.

Name something you wish you had done during your tenure in high school. I do wish that I had taken more initiative as to join and play different sports, but I am completely satisfied with my high school experience.

Samantha Varie Page | salutatorian

Parents: Steven and Carrie Page

GPA weighted: 4.6046

Future School: Florida Gulf Coast University

Ideal career: International business

Most influential/best teacher: Meredith Jewell and Coach Regenia Dixon.

Hardships overcome: The passing of a fellow cheerleader and friend during our sophomore year. Cierra will always be remembered.

Favorite quote: "It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse." From Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.

Favorite book: Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood.

Clubs/extracurriculars: Varsity cheerleading, girls varsity tennis (captain), girls varsity weightlifting, National Honor Society (secretary), Spanish National Honor Society.

If you could increase spending on education, what areas do you think deserve the most attention? I would increase spending on the research, development and implementation of curriculum to ensure that needs of all learners are met.

Sage advice for the up and coming: Never shy away from variety; it can open many doors that had gone previously unnoticed.

Name something you wish you had done during your tenure in high school. I wish I had realized that though planning for tomorrow is crucial, sometimes living for the moment can be a pleasant surprise.

J.W. Mitchell High commencement will be at 5 p.m. June 1 at the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa.

J.W. Mitchell High Valedictorian and Salutatorian of 2013 05/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 7:38pm]

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