Believe it or not, we're here already. With exactly seven weeks left in the 2007-08 school year, it's again time to trot out the valedictorians and salutatorians of Pasco's high schools. • Their class ranks put them at the top of the class, spots they no doubt worked hard to achieve. • They even competed against each other, as Pasco High's salutatorian Madeline Armstrong noted when she listed valedictorian Brianne Farmer as her most inspirational person. • Brianne had to chuckle when she heard that. • "We've been in classes together since middle school, and we've always kind of competed against each other," she said, noting that the two were best friends back then. • But then high school came along, and Brianne took a different route, taking more and more dual-enrollment classes at Pasco-Hernando Community College. In fact, she spent her senior year there. • "We don't see each other as much now," Brianne said, "but we're still friends." • Brianne will have her associate of arts degree under her belt when she graduates from Pasco High in June. • Like many of this year's valedictorians and salutatorians, Madeline and Brianne are opting to attend state schools. Madeline plans to attend the University of Central Florida. Brianne will go to the University of Florida, which seems to be a popular choice among Pasco's vals and sals. • "Of course it is," Brianne said. "It's the best school. You've got to be a Gator — that's the only way to go."
Valedictorian: Brianne Farmer
GPA: 4.6354 (weighted)
Future school: University of Florida
Major: microbiology and cell science/pre-med.
Ideal career: pathologist
Most inspirational people: My parents, because they pushed me to get where I am and have always been there for me.
"To be old and wise you must first be young and stupid."
Favorite book: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
Favorite place on campus: The softball field, because I've played there for four years with my friends and have some crazy memories.
Clubs/extracurriculars: Varsity softball, National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa at Pasco-Hernando Community College, National Society of High School Scholars, Brain Bowl, History Bowl and Envirothon.
Special note: Will graduate from Pasco High with an associate of arts degree at Pasco-Hernando Community College through dual enrollment.
Salutatorian: Madeline Armstrong
GPA: 4.57 (weighted)
Future school: University of Central Florida
Ideal career: undecided
Most inspirational person: As far as school goes, my friend Brianne Farmer, who is valedictorian, has kept me going. I have competed my entire high school career to keep up with her.
Best advice or quote: There's "Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be."
From All You Need is Love by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Favorite book: Fight Club or Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk.
Favorite place on campus: The parking lot, because that means I get to leave!
Clubs/extracurriculars: Student Council (executive secretary), Interact (vice president), Science Club (vice president), National Honor Society.
If you could, what would you change about the Pasco County or Florida education system? I would choose to eliminate the FCAT, because I believe that education should not be completely standardized in order to allow free thought.