Valedictorian: Brandy Compton
GPA: 4.4886 weighted
Future school: University of Florida or University of South Florida
Major: Biomedical sciences
Ideal career: Pediatrician
Most inspirational person: My mother and father are the most inspirational people in my life. I admire them so much for their hard work and compassion for me and my siblings. When I grow up and have my own children, I will know how and be able to love them with all my heart because that is how my parents have treated me.
Best advice: "Listen to your heart."
Hardships overcome: A sports injury.
Favorite place on campus: The track
Favorite book: The Bible
How to improve school or education: It would be nice if there were enough textbooks to go around so that each student could have a copy at home in addition to a classroom set, (to prevent carrying them back and forth), or make textbooks available online. I would suggest that Advanced Placement courses never be taught by a brand new teacher, unless they have help from a more experienced one.
Advice for the up and coming: I strongly encourage new high school students to get involved with their school. Join a club, a sport, the yearbook class, the news crew, the drama team, it doesn't matter which. Just make sure you join something, a couple of things while you're at it. It's a great way to meet people and make your high school experience more fulfilling. I also suggest you start collecting community service hours from day one. Start early so you don't wait until the last minute and not have enough for a scholarship you may apply for. Overall, just have fun.
Salutatorian: Chelsea Smith
GPA: 4.45 weighted
Future school: University of Florida
Ideal career: Fiction novelist
Most inspirational person: My middle school language arts teacher, Mrs. Rio. She has a passion for teaching and I learned so much during the three years I was in her class. She is always full of encouragement and made me a much stronger writer.
Best advice/quote: "I have no regrets in my life. I think that everything happens to you for a reason. The hard times that you go through build character, making you a much stronger person." Rita Mero
Favorite place on campus: The media center because I like to read.
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Club and extracurricular activities: National Honor Society (vice-president), Interact Club (president), school newspaper (editor in chief), yearbook (copy editor), varsity soccer (captain and first team All-Conference), varsity tennis, weekly columnist for The Zephyrhills News, job at Maine-ly New England Restaurant
What is you impression of the Pasco County school district's attempt to better prepare students for the work force through career academies? I don't feel that our school has a very strong career academic programs with all the budget cuts and drop-put prevention courses.
How would you improve your school or education in general? There should be more of a focus on higher-level courses. Sometimes the school loses focus on the higher-performing when they continually deal with lower-performing students. Also, more teachers who are passionate about their jobs.
Sage advice for the up and coming? Learn how to prioritize. Focus mainly on your studies. Having a boyfriend/girlfriend is a huge, unnecessary distraction that you shouldn't worry about until college. Also, read lots of books. That's how you gain knowledge.