Juan Luis Amaro has been named valedictorian and Cristina Hernandez salutatorian of the 2013 Senor Class at Como-Pickton High School.
Amaro was recognized by the school this week for not only having the top grade point average in his class during his senior year, also for having the top cumulative weighted grade point average of 5.8933 from all of his years at CPHS. Not surprisingly, he has been in the top 10 percent of his class all four years of high school. He says it’s “pretty exciting” being named the top academic student in his class.
The valedictorian is the son of Maria Amaro and Jose Amaro. He says he has always gone to school at Como-Pickton, from elementary through high school.
He ran track his sophomore and junior years. He also participated in academic UIL, competing in social studies and science categories for two years. He also is a member of the National Honor Society and was on the AB Honor Roll all year. He is noted in Carter Blood Care’s Red Cord Honors Program, which denotes students who have given blood.
Amaro plans to attend Texas A&M University-Commerce to get his bachelor’s degree and become a surgical technician. He became interested in the field after taking classes and learning the way the body works. He’d eventually like to get his master’s degree and end up at St. Mary’s.
He was awarded an $8,000 Texas Education Agency Honor Graduate Scholarship to help him further his education. As one of the five students who comprise the top 10 percent of the senior class at CP, Amaro was also awarded a $2,000 Texas Top 10 Percent Scholarship, which is renewable for up to a total of $8,000 over four years.
His advice for other students to be successful is simply to “work hard and pursue your goals.”
Amaro offers special thanks to his teachers, Bobby Mays and Shelly Anderson, who have “really helped me a lot in my college classes.”
Although the school does not have a team, Amaro said he enjoys soccer.
Salutatorian Cristina Hernandez was ranked second in her class based on both this year’s grades and her cumulative weighted GPA of 5.8592.
Hernandez is the daughter of Alejandro and Josefina Hernandez and sister of Irene Neraida, Angelina, Alejandro and Carlos A. Hernandez. She moved to Como-Pickton from Mexico three years ago, and has “been here ever since.” She said the adjustment was “hard in the beginning” and to some degree “still is,” but noted “I think I’m doing good.”
Her grades and achievements indicate she is not only doing good but exceptional work among her classmates.
She serves as president of Spanish Club and National Honor Society. She was one of only two students to make the all A Honor Roll her senior year.
Hernandez also participates in UIL, competing in accounting, math and last year in calculator applications.
She is a catechist at St. James Catholic Church in Sulphur Springs, where she does volunteer work, helps with events and organizing things, and sometimes helps translate for the priest.
Hernandez plans to attend Paris Junior College after graduation, then transfer to the University of Texas. In the meantime, she plans to get her real estate license, although that’s not the main thing she’s interested in pursuing as a career. First, she’ll pursue an associate of science degree, then a degree in business management and accounting.
She too was one of the five students in the CP graduating class who received a $2,000 Texas Top 10 Percent Scholarship to help her further her education.
Hernandez offers thanks to “Jackie Martin, Terry Morris, Julie Biggerstaff, Bobby Mays — really all my teachers. They have all been more than teachers to me,” the salutatorian said, noting the extra effort the teachers put forth to help their students, her in particular.
In her spare time, she enjoys riding horses and going to rodeos.
Hernandez’s advice to other students is “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can do and you can not do. If you dream it, you can accomplish it. With hard work, patience and with the support of your family, everything is possible.”
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