WEEKI WACHEE — Janet Ho can claim something nobody else will ever be able to say:
She is Weeki Wachee High School's first valedictorian.
Ho, on Thursday, will be among the 211 students making up the first graduating class at Weeki Wachee — a school that opened in 2010 with freshman and sophomores.
Becoming valedictorian is only the latest in a long list of accomplishments for Ho, who has skipped a grade, earned her associate's degree from Pasco-Hernando Community College and managed to achieve a 4.68 grade-point average by the age of 16.
She is a member of several clubs and organizations, including the academic team, environmental club, student government, Spanish club — "and a few other ones," she said.
What are your favorite memories of high school?
"The first day of school. It was a new school. It was a whole different layout. The first day I was just running around the whole entire campus trying to find classrooms.
" . . . There was no gum on the chairs . . . no scribbles on the textbooks, thankfully."
Who was the best teacher you had in high school and what made her/him special?
Timothy Jordan, environmental science teacher. "We could ask him any questions, and he'd know it automatically. He was also a really friendly teacher" who knew his students well and incorporated interesting projects into the class, Ho said.
One example: the bug project.
Ho said she would go around the school collecting bugs, such as cockroaches. They'd pin them up and study them.
"It helped me become less squeamish," she said, noting that she became known as the "bug lady," walking around campus with a jar.
What's it feel like to be Weeki Wachee's first valedictorian?
"It's exciting, but it's a lot of pressure to hopefully make a good speech and bring honor to my school." She says she's gone through at least a dozen drafts.
What are your plans for college and the future?
Ho will attend the University of Central Florida and plans to study environmental science, biology and economics. She eventually wants to become a professor.
Her major goals in life are to help others through volunteering and bringing awareness to environmental issues.
Weeki Wachee High School graduation is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at Grace World Outreach Church, Brooksville.
Valedictorian Janet To Uyen Ho
Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Huy Ho and Annie Trinh
College, field of study: University of Central Florida, environmental science/biology/economics
Salutatorian Nicole Lecours
Parent: Celina Lecours
College, field of study: University of Tampa, forensic science
Rest of the Best
3. Allison Leip
4. Erik Perse
5. Ayanna Dewese
6. Lauren Burns
7. Alexis Pletincks
8. Jamie Waryga
9. Abbygail Almeida
10. Gabriella Napolitano
Weeki Wachee High School Class of 2013
Alyssa Agner, Tyler Ahrens, Abbygail Emily Almeida, Joshua G. Almeida, Kariann Anderson, Allyson T. Aubin.
Emily Babler, Nicholas Balister, Justin Bambauer, Dustin S. Bauer, Brittany M. Behnke, Kaylah M. Bell, Michael Bell, Brianna Blaney, Khalid Bligen, Destiny Jonah Bon, Zhane Bonnett, Brianna Marie Boswell, John Mason Boudreau, Kayla Louise Boyle, Alyson Bruce, Alina Bernice Burden, Danielle Marie Burke, Anthony K. Burnes, Lauren Nicole Burns.
Andriana Geraldine Callahan, Alexandra R. Campagna, Logan Caputo, Preston Carter, Sarah Cassidy, Jason Alexander Ceglia, Larry Chavez, Jacob Sidney Cimino, Zackary Clemens, Tawnie Halle Conklin, Benjamin Connor, Myles Cook, Yvonne Correa-Rosario, Katelyn Costa, Eric D. Crawford, Joshua Jason Crosby, Victoria L. Cudney-Peterson, Journey Cummings, Kylie Louise Currie.
Atwariya DaSilva, Yamilet Carolina Delgado, Joshua V. DeMeglio, Brian Demers, Sean DePotter, Thomas N. Descault, Wyatt DeWayne, Ayanna Summer DeWese, Monica Marie Diaz, Jaclyn Dono, Daniel A. Dunn.
Cheyenne Fackler, Jacob Tyler Fears, Lucas Fears, Kandyce Nateara Fields, Adam P.J. Fontaine, Justin Fowler, Taylor Frame.
Leishka D. Garcia, Ariel Rachel Geren, Brian Anthony Germani, John Ryan Giovinazzi, Emmanuel Gomez, Samuel Guerrios, John Thomas Gula, Trevor James Gulbrandson.
Celeste Nicole Hagen, Jesse Hagan, Cody Hammond, Nicholas Harvey, Kayla Haugen, Alicia Hawkins, Michael Heggaton, Sean Henderson, Rhonda C. Hill, Joshua Hix, Janet To Uyen Ho, Jimmy Ray Hunter II.
Aaron Jackson, Steven James, Mariah Patricia Jena, Brianna N. Johnson, Bryce C. Johnson, Courtney Ann Jones.
Ryan Scott Keiser, Austin King, Erol Koparan, David J. Kotow.
Jacob Robert Lane, Nicole Elizabeth Le, Nicole Lecours, Alex Leger, Allison Elizabeth Leip, Kayla Lynn Lewis, Kevin Lips, Brittany Marie Longobardi, Tonia Lovero, Sabrina Jay Luescher.
Tarria N. McDermott, Kiersten Lee MacArthur, Chase Makarewicz, Hope Malave, Joseph Manina, Heather L. Masters, Kara A. Masters, Thomas Maynard, Trevor Mazzuco, Alexis Monique McInnis, Nicholas W. Michalik, Vanessa M. Moore, Ashleigh N. Morgan, Candice Morito, Jason Morton, Jared Moss, Michael L. Mottola, William Moyer, Tiffani Muguercia.
Gabriella R. Napolitano, Donna Jolene Nevins, Fernando Luis Nolasco, Brittani A. Novotny, Michael Nowak.
Shawn Oakes, Jeremy A. O'Brien, Sean R. O'Connor, Alyssa Olson, Brittany Osborne, Katie Marie Owen, Jordan Lee Owens.
Vincent A. Pagano, Thomas Parrinello, Jennifer Rose Perez, Erik Perse, William J. Peterman II, Danielle Peterson, Tyler J. Pierson, Kimberly Ann Pizzo, Alexis Pletincks, Matthew Pritchard, Wesley Jerome Proffer Jr., Joshua Prohaska.
Oscar D. Quinones.
Michael Radike, Jazelyn Elisa Ramos, Kaylynn Ramos, Sara L. Reich, Daniel James Reilly, Isabel Rivera, Damayra Romero Perez, Joseph Whitman Roth, Mary Rungo.
Christopher Scholl, Ann Schwieterman, Eve Lynn Seeman, Brittany Marie Sehl, Sarah A. Serviss, Brooke Alexandra Sharp, David Michael Sheridan, Daniel Siciliano, Megan Siem, Melea Agatha G. Silong, Ryan Adam Simpson, Ashley Singer, Kevin Sisum, Summer Lene Sizemore, Christopher Smith Jr., William S. Smith V, Maximo Soares Jr., Sara Springirth, Dillon Drake Stansell, Jordyn Story, Justin W. Story, Brett Michael Stover, Robert John Szatkowski Jr.
Christine Marie Tackett, Brandon Pasquale Tardi, Jacey Tarter, Scott R. Theodore, David R. Thompson, Kirstyn Thompson, Paul Tomassi, Sharrif Toro, Antonio Torres, Cody Truman, Jacobs Tures, Leah Kalene Turner, Marlee Twining,
Hannah Caroline Vandigriff, Alexander Kenneth Vogel, Alexis L. Vojvodic.
Kari Wagner, Rhebeka Waldron, Shaya Rai Wallace, Jamie Waryga, Breanne Watkins, Adam Frederick Watson, Menyal Weaver, Megan Welsh, Halie Ann Werkmeister, Brandon Michael Wolfe.
Tabytha Yezak, Gordon Young III.
Freddie Zack, Anthony J. Zammit, Carlos Enrique Zamora III.