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Meet the valedictorian and salutatorian for Zephyrhills High

Brandy Compton, who plans to major in biomedical sciences, encourages students to get involved with clubs, sports or just about any school group.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Brandy Compton, who plans to major in biomedical sciences, encourages students to get involved with clubs, sports or just about any school group.

Zephyrhills High

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

Major: Dentistry

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.

Meet the valedictorian and salutatorian for Zephyrhills High 05/25/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 10:29am]
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