The 2019 Class: Congratulations to the Top Ten!

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The 2019 Class: Congratulations to the Top Ten!

Lauren Stallworth, Editor

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Congratulations to the top ten students of the 2019 Class! The students with the highest overall grade point averages for this year are:

Lucas Budd, Valedictorian
Caitlin Scates, Salutatorian
Oliwia Przychodzka
Jenny Stinfil
Hailey Winters
Sierrah Rivera
Hayley McManus
Anamaria Diaz
Lydia Austin
Jacob Blauvelt

This is an extremely high honor for all ten of these students that are worthy of recognition. It has taken countless hours of studying, homework, planning, and schoolwork to achieve such high GPA averages and grades. All of these students took the initiative in their education, with many of them taking AP and Dual Enrollment classes, and always striving for straight A’s. I spoke personally to the top 5 students on this list and asked them about their reactions and reflections on High School and their Senior year. They had a lot of wonderful advice that each and every current student can learn from, and I encourage everyone here at Cypress Creek to regard them as examples and role models, and for each of us to recognize their hard work.

This is what they had to say about their accomplishments, high school career, and the advice they want to give:

Lucas Budd, Valedictorian

What was your GPA?: “My current GPA is 4.577”

What was your first thought when you found out you were the Valedictorian?: “My first thought when I found out that I am the valedictorian was that it is a great honor to be the first valedictorian at Cypress Creek High School.”

What has been the proudest academic accomplishment you’ve had, and how do you feel that impacted where you are today?: “My proudest academic achievement is a math award I received in elementary school. Although it is not my most difficult award, it greatly impacted my attitude towards school. This award taught me that investing effort into academics would pay off, and it motivated me to reach academic excellence.”

Did you have a favorite class?: “My favorite classes are chemistry and psychology. I like chemistry because it relates to so many other areas in science. I like psychology because I think human behavior and thought processes are interesting.”

Who has been your biggest support through your high school career?: “My parents have been my biggest support. They have always believed in me and pushed for my success.”

Would you do anything differently if you went through high school again?: “I would not do anything differently if I could do it over again. That is not to say that I haven’t made mistakes or could have done some things better, but everything worked out and I am pleased with how my high school career has ended.”

Do you have any advice for students who hope to be valedictorian?: “The most important piece of advice that I want to give to students who wish to be valedictorian is to stay dedicated and work hard. I strongly believe that the main determinant of success is the effort that you put into achieving your goals.”

Caitlin Scates, Salutatorian

What was your GPA?: “My GPA as of right now is a 4.4327. “

What was your first thought when you found out you were the Salutatorian?: “Well, when I was applying for colleges at the beginning of the year I had found out that my class rank was #2, and I honestly had no idea that was where I stood in the class. It was a true feeling of accomplishment. It was not set in stone at that moment, so I was honestly just proud that at some moment in time I was #2. Then, when I was told I was officially the salutatorian I was so happy and so excited that I had accomplished something like that when my goal was simply to get good grades. I didn’t expect to become the salutatorian.”

What has been the proudest academic accomplishment you’ve had, and how do you feel that impacted where you are today?: “Honestly, my GPA is my proudest academic accomplishment, and overcoming classes where I felt like there was no way I would get an A in it. It’s a great feeling knowing something was not easy to do, but you have achieved the goal you’ve set for yourself. This just motivates me to continue to prove myself wrong, and that I am capable of what I think I’m not.”

Did you have a favorite class?: “Dance class.”

Who has been your biggest support through your high school career?: “My parents. They are always by my side and help me whenever I need it.”

Do you have any advice for students who hope to be Salutatorian?: “Don’t focus on the status of
Salutatorian or Valedictorian. Focus on doing the best you can in classes and pushing yourself further. If you work hard enough, you can get good grades no matter how hard the class seems. Then, you’ll surprise yourself with your class rank. Stay focused, ask for help, don’t worry about being annoying to teachers, and never give up.”

Oliwia Przychodzka, rank number three:

What was your GPA?: “My GPA is 4.3 weighted.”

What classes did you take?: “AP Biology, AP Human Geography, AP Language and Composition, AP Calculus, AP Government, AP Macroeconomics, DE English Composition 1 and 2, DE Public Speaking, DE Psychology.”

If you take AP or DE, which do you prefer?: “I take both AP and DE classes but I prefer AP because they are more rigorous.”

Did you start high school with the intention of trying to make the top ten?: “When I started high school I never thought I would make it to top ten. I moved here from Poland and my English was very bad, however, school was always most important for me even if I didn’t make it to the top ten, I have always gotten satisfaction from getting good grades.”

Do you think that working so hard in school is going to prepare you for life, and how so?: “Working hard in school will definitely help me in the long run. I gained many skills and have become very dedicated and driven towards achieving my goals, I can utilize these skills to help me in college and the workforce.”

Did you have a teacher that helped you and pushed you?: “All of my teachers have pushed me and helped me along the way. I appreciate every teacher that I’ve had, especially in my AP classes.”

Do you have any advice for students who hope to make the top ten?: “A piece of advice that I have for students that want to make it to top ten is that it’s okay to fail some tests and to stay focused on the big picture.”

Jenny Stinfil, rank number four:

What was your GPA?: “My GPA was a 4.3 weighted”

What classes did you take?: “I took a lot of Honors and DE classes. I did DE Psych, Algebra, Statistics, Anatomy and Physiology and Lab, Bio and Lab, English Comp. 1 and 2, Sociology, and Micro-apps. All of my high school classes as well were honors.”

If you take AP or DE, which do you prefer?: “I truly think that DE is so much better than doing AP. It prepares you for the reality of college, and I know that a university might be 10 times harder, but it still prepares you. Also, you’re getting 3 college credits for every single class that you take as long as you get a C in it, so in one year you could have 30 college credits which is basically your freshman year of college already over with. I’m sure AP is fine too, but so many people stress out about passing the AP test and if you go DE then you really don’t have to worry about that.”

Did you start high school with the intention of trying to make the top ten?: “I didn’t, all I knew was that I wanted to do good enough to get into college and get enough scholarship money so that I wouldn’t have to pay for college. And I did do that so I guess I accomplished my goal!”

Do you think that working so hard in school is going to prepare you for life, and how so?: “I don’t think working so hard in high school necessarily prepared me for life. I realized how much we’re really coddled in high school and that they’re definitely not tough enough, at least for me that’s what I realized. I don’t know about other people. It wasn’t until I started DE that I started to realize what time management and prioritizing meant. Also, that your professors really aren’t going to tolerate certain things that you do in high school because everyone else that’s there is paying to be there, and it’s up to you to decide how much effort you want to put into a class.”

Did you have a teacher that helped you and pushed you?: “No, I mean I never had one that doubted me, but I can’t say that I had one that necessarily pushed me either. I had my mom and I had me just pushing myself to do the best that I could.”

Do you have any advice for students who hope to make the top ten?: “I think that if that’s your goal then you just need to prioritize. I know that a lot of people think that you have to participate in everything that goes on in school, but if it’s not benefitting you academically then it’s okay to miss it. There are so many things that I didn’t really participate in during high school and in the moment it sucks, but once you realize that taking that extra class or staying up and studying for that test will actually make a difference, then you’ll get over the feeling. Just work hard and take action to find out different things that will help you and make life 10 times easier for you later on, like doing dual enrollment in high school.”

Hailey Winters, Rank number five:

What was your GPA?: “4.3”

What classes did you take?: “For high school, I took ASL 4, Pack Leading, and online Government and Econ. For college, I took Biology, College Algebra, Intro to Statistics, Microcomputer Applications, Anatomy, and Lifespan Development.”

If you take AP or DE, which do you prefer?: “I prefer DE because you automatically get the college credit, and I personally find them easier because you only have class twice a week and there’s less homework.”

Did you start high school with the intention of trying to make the top ten?: “I did not have the intention of making the top ten, I was just trying to make straight A’s and do well.”

Do you think that working so hard in school is going to prepare you for life, and how so?: “I do think that working hard has helped me prepare because it taught me determination and to reach for my goals. It taught me that I can accomplish anything I want if I work hard for it. I think that DE prepared me more than high school classes did.”

Did you have a teacher that helped you and pushed you?: “I didn’t really have a teacher that pushed me. My parents pushed me more.”

Do you have any advice for students who hope to make the top ten?: “My advice would be to work hard and set goals. I also think it’s important to not procrastinate even though it’s hard. I think anybody can accomplish the goals that they want if they work hard and put in the necessary effort. It may seem really hard at times but I promise it pays off!”

Each of these students interviewed and on this list have exemplified an amazing work ethic and dedication to success, and as a school, we couldn’t be happier for them. This accomplishment is even more special because they are the first ever Top Ten Students of a Graduating class here at Cypress Creek, and will all go down in school history. They are wonderful examples of well-rounded and responsible students. We can each learn a lot from them, as these students strived for (and succeeded in) high academic achievement. Congratulations to you all again, and we wish the best of luck and success in your future endeavors!