Eight scholars march in white

Eight scholars march in white

During the beginning of her senior year, Caroline Tran found out that she would be graduating with the title of high honors with other seniors instead of one of the valedictorian or salutatorian titles. Tran maintained her grade point average at a 4.77 and was tied for what would have been the valedictorian title with Jessica Xilo student in her class.

Angelica Co, Student Life Editor

Earning an accumulated grade point average of 4.5 and higher, eight outstanding seniors received the highest honors of the 2011-2012 school year. Eric Choi, Ivy Hughes, Sophia Loumiotis, Jinan Mannaa, Marvin Salazar, Pimlada Tantiwuttipong, Caroline Tran, and Jessica Xilo will be wearing a white graduation cap and gown instead of the typical cardinal colored attire.

“I feel honored to have my hard work throughout high school be acknowledged,” the senior class’ number one Sophia Loumiotis said. “I think it is really cool that the school is setting apart and appreciating those with high academics.”

The highest honors recognition was created in place of having a valedictorian and a salutatorian. In the previous years, the valedictorian was not ranked first in the class since the title was earned through a point system. Academic classes like English and math earned the students points but sports and electives like Associated Student Body did not; thus, the administrators did not want students to refrain from taking these courses solely to attain the desired label. Senior Caroline Tran—who is ranked number one in the class with a 4.77 GPA along with Loumiotis—was taken aback at Principal Tom Houts’ news at the beginning of the school year.

“Although at first I thought it was very strange that our school would not have a valedictorian,” Tran said, “I also think it’s very nice that our school is recognizing everyone who had a 4.5 GPA and higher for all of their hard work over the four years.”

Even though the school will not crown a specific individual, eight seniors are being rewarded for their commitment to education. Most of these students have taken every Advanced Placement and every honors class offered since their ninth grade year. To top it all off, they have earned mostly As and a few Bs throughout the four years. Attaining these exceptional marks was not easy, but despite the tremendous amount of hard work these courses required, they continued to challenge themselves and persisted to reach past the norm.

“The main key to obtaining a high GPA is to always try your best in every subject,” future Bruin, Ivy Hughes said. “Stay motivated, complete your work, and study even though you’re tired or overwhelmed.”

College became one of the top motivators for these young scholars. In order to attend a prominent university that would best suit them and assist them in their future endeavors, they knew that dedication would serve as the main ingredient. Georgetown University in Washington D.C., Stanford University in northern California, University of California, Los Angeles, and University of California, Berkeley, are some of the schools these top students will be attending in the Fall.

“I wanted to get into a college of my choice so that I could pursue the career that I wanted,” upcoming UCLA attendee Tran said. “I hope to be successful so that I can get into a good medical school and become either an Obstetrician-Gynecologist or a pediatrician.”

On graduation day, not only will these top scholars be wearing a different colored gown, but they will also be marching first followed by the California Scholarship Federation Sealbearers and then the rest of the graduating students. Their GPAs have such minute differences that this school year blossomed and really proved their potential. Success awaits these eight individuals as they embark on a new journey and become one step closer to their dreams.