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Meet Genesis Preparatory's Class of 2010 valedictorian and salutatorian

Paul Punzone, varsity football team captain, is heading to the University of Florida where he will major in pre-med.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Paul Punzone, varsity football team captain, is heading to the University of Florida where he will major in pre-med.

Genesis Preparatory

Valedictorian: Paul Punzone

GPA: 4.17 (weighted)

Future school: University of South Florida

Major: Pre-med

Ideal career: Trauma surgeon

Most inspirational person: My dad. He inspired me to be the best I can be, to strive for greatness and to settle for nothing less than great. He taught me that hard work always pays off and that sacrifice comes with success. Without my dad, I wouldn't be the person I am today, and I wouldn't put forth the effort that I do.

Best advice/quote: The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Vince Lombardi

Hardships overcome: Managing my time with a rigorous academic and sports schedule and overcoming numerous sports injuries.

Favorite place on campus: The gym, weight room and football field. These three places are the site of many memories.

Favorite book: Bleachers by John Grisham

Clubs and extracurricular activities: Interact, Student Council, National Honor Society, cross country, varsity basketball, varsity football (captain)

How would you improve your school or education in general? I would offer more electives and a larger variety of extracurricular activities.

Salutatorian: Zachary Bené

GPA: 4.16 (weighted)

Future school: University of Florida

Major: Business

Ideal career: CEO of my own corporation

Most inspirational person: My father inspired me to be all that I could be. I share his passion for running long distance, which taught me to be steadfast and determined. He was my mentor, teaching me at home and when I worked beside him at our family business. I am on the right track because of his influence on me. My mother was always there to support me, but my father was there to push me.

Best advice/quote: In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing and the worst you can do is nothing." Theodore Roosevelt

Hardships overcome: I was not always as good with people and words as I am today. The greatest hardship I have ever had to overcome is now my greatest strength.

Favorite place on campus: I find the football trail the best for quiet contemplation.

Favorite book: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Clubs and extracurricular activities: Student Council (president), National Honor Society, Interact, work as secretary at Bené's International School of Beauty

How would you improve your school or education in general? While growing up I had terrible organizational problems. Eventually, I reconciled this problem and organization became a vital tool for me. I would teach and reinforce organization over and over to the new generation of students, stressing its importance.

Sage advice for the up and coming? Life is not who you have been, it's who you are becoming. Regrets are weight; useless, useless weights. Everything you've ever done is a part of you, and you must accept that and move on. Lastly, fake it till you can make it; but you can't fake it forever! Seek every challenge and conquer it.

Meet Genesis Preparatory's Class of 2010 valedictorian and salutatorian 05/18/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:24pm]
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[Times file photo]