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Meet the Genesis Preparatory School valedictorian, salutatorians

Genesis Preparatory School valedictorian Raza Zaidi also led the Genesis basketball team as MVP.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Genesis Preparatory School valedictorian Raza Zaidi also led the Genesis basketball team as MVP.

Valedictorian: Raza Zaidi

GPA: 4.45 (weighted)

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Interact Club, Student Council (treasurer), Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society (president), Teen Court, Youth Leadership Pasco, Florida State Science and Engineering Fair, Drama Club, varsity football, varsity basketball (captain/MVP), Genesis Ringers (captain), Young Leaders Conference 2008, DAR Regional Winner and Pasco County Regional Science Fair (second place).

Favorite place on campus: The gym; it was the site of some of my greatest moments, moments that helped me become who I am today.

Favorite book: The Cassandra Compact by Robert Ludlum.

Favorite musician or group: Blink 182.

Future school: The University of Florida.

Major: Premedicine.

Ideal career: Trauma surgeon.

Most inspirational person: My parents: They've overcome so much to put me in the position to succeed, and for that I'll be eternally grateful.

If you could, what would you change about the Pasco County or Florida education system: I would make internships, particularly those in hospitals, much more publicized. This would include sending information to schools, and possibly making appearances and giving presentations in the hopes of raising awareness of the benefits, and quite frankly, of the existence, of said internships.

Best advice/favorite quote:

"Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity."

Aristotle

Co-salutatorian: Elise Giordano

GPA: 4.38 (weighted)

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Interact, Student Council, Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society, Teen Court, Youth Leadership Pasco, Leadership Conference, Tomorrow's Leaders, soup kitchen volunteer, mission trip to China and work as a "sandwich artist" at Subway.

Favorite place on campus: The music room, because I can vent my frustrations on the piano and sing to my heart's content.

Favorite book: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Favorite musician: Sarah McLachlan.

Future school: The University of Florida.

Major: Preveterinary medicine; minor in theater.

Ideal career: I would love to someday be on Broadway, but if that doesn't pan out, being a veterinarian works, too.

Most inspirational person: My dad is my hero, my confidante and, most importantly, my best friend. He has molded me into the person I am. But I want to be so much more, and science teacher Mrs. Paula Sparks embodies everything I strive to be. She is a strong woman of God, willing to listen and always caring for others. She has helped me through some of my toughest struggles and has greatly strengthened my faith. She has blessed me in more ways than she knows.

Best advice/quote: "He replied, 'Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith so small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.' "

Matthew 17:20

Co-salutatorian: Joseph Nurrenbrock

GPA: 4.38 (weighted)

Clubs/extracurricular activities: Student body president, National Honor Society, Interact (vice president), Spanish Honor Society, Youth Leadership Pasco, Young Leaders Conference, Senate page program, Law Week essay winner, Spanish Convention, Teen Court, varsity football (captain) and jazz band.

Favorite place on campus: Anywhere the Florida wildlife incorporates itself into the campus.

Favorite book: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.

Favorite musician: Corbin Emanuel, my best friend and a fantastic composer.

Future school: The University of Florida.

Major: Engineering, economics or political science.

Ideal career: Naval officer; lawyer.

Most inspirational person: The two most level-headed and clear-thinking people I know: my parents. With my increased maturity has come a great respect and appreciation for the difficult work they do, and the time and support they have always given me.

Best advice/favorite quote: Through her actions and words, my mother has taught me always to pursue truth and, if and when I find it, to defend it.

If you could, what would you change about the Pasco County or Florida education system: The rules regarding athletes in independent schools playing for public school teams. Homeschooled athletes are allowed to play on public schools if their sport is not readily available to them. Why should independent school athletes be treated any differently?

Graduation for Genesis Preparatory School is at 6:30 p.m. May 21 at the school.

Meet the Genesis Preparatory School valedictorian, salutatorians 04/28/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 9:23pm]

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