Jen Daun, Ridgewood
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 4.35/3.89
Standardized test score: 1330 SAT
Sports: Volleyball, basketball, tennis
Notable: Wendy's Heisman female athlete of the year for Ridgewood's 2008 class … Sunshine Athletic Conference first team (basketball), second team (volleyball), honorable mention (tennis) … AP scholar … executive officer in Ridgewood's NJROTC … member of National Honor Society … member of math honor society
College: Warner Southern
Courtney Cohen, Gulf
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 4.25/3.83
Standardized test scores: 1260 SAT, 29 ACT
Sports: Soccer, football, track and field, cheerleading
Notable: Sunshine Athletic Conference first team (soccer), second team (track) … holds the school's shot put record … earned track most improved award … president of Gulf's National Honor Society … member of Math Honor Society, English Honor Society, Young Democrats historian … Student Council treasurer
College: Ohio University
Brittany Hahn, River Ridge
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 4.2/4.0
Standardized test score: 27 ACT
Sports: Golf, soccer, tennis
Notable: Sunshine Athletic Conference first team (soccer) … three-year soccer captain … two-year tennis captain … two-year golf captain … FACA girls soccer player of the year in Class 5A, District 8 … All-A honor roll … National Honor Society … student council … Phi Alpha Theta
Proudest academic accomplishment: Becoming valedictorian at Gulf. Johnson talked about that goal since middle school and attained it by averaging at least an hour of studying nightly.
Proudest athletic accomplishment: Earning top honors in the 100-meter hurdles in the Sunshine Athletic Conference meet and at her district meet. She battled Wesley Chapel nemesis Patience Shackley for years and defeated her in her final year.
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 4.47/4.0
Standardized test score: 31 ACT
Sports: Volleyball (four years), track and field (four years)
Class schedule as senior: Advanced placement literature, workplace essentials, AP statistics, AP Spanish, AP government, online class marine biology honors
Other feats: President of the student council, math honor society, secretary of national English honor society and treasurer of National Honor Society. … All A-honor roll and third place in Pasco County math competition. … AP scholar. … SAC all-academic team.
Last class in which she earned lower than a B: Never. She earned a B in one quarter last year taking physics, but ended up with an A for the semester.
College: She will attend the University of Florida in the fall as a pre-med major. Johnson grew up wanting to be a veterinarian, but later felt more drawn to becoming a surgeon. Though she has cut into only a frog and a fish she has watched plenty of surgery on television thanks to cable. "I want to have a hands-on job where I can cut into people," Johnson said.
Did you know? In a family of roughly 25, Johnson is one of only four to graduate high school. And of those four only two — her mother and uncle — went on to college. Her family has been very supportive of her achievements.
"It's been part of the motivation," Johnson said. "I've been trying to be better and show we can do better. All the people that haven't gone to college are really proud."
Quotable: "I had Nikki as a student beginning in the eighth grade. She was one of the Gulf Middle students who came to Gulf High to take geometry honors. It happened to work out that I had her and two other students every year through the 12th grade. Nikki took Advanced Placement calculus AB in the 11th grade. That is the highest math class we offer, except for self-study. But Nikki and another student wanted to take another math class in their senior year, and they persuaded the administration to offer AP statistics this year after finding enough students interested to form a class. We had not previously offered that class. She was the top student in the class, and in fact was the top student in math all five years." — Jeff Miller, teacher
Izzy Gould, Times staff writer