Heads of the Class

Robby Jackson valedictorian, Landon McCaig salutatorian of SSHS Class of 2007

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

May 3. 2007 - There's hope for the future yet, if Robby Jackson and Landon McCaig are any indication.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Sulphur Springs High School Principal Chuck King (far left) announced  Landon McCaig (2nd from left), son of David and Lisa McCaig, as 2007 salutatorian and Robby Jackson (center), son of Bob and Debbie Jackson (right), as 2007 valedictorian this morning.

The Sulphur Springs High School seniors were announced today as valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2007.

"This is a very important day each year," said SSHS Principal Chuck King, who is retiring at the end of the school year. "We recognize two people who have set themselves apart academically."

And by that, he means the two set themselves apart from the rest of the student body, but barely from each other — their final grades were within hundredths of points of each other.

The valedictorian, Jackson (full name Robert McLellon Jackson II), compiled a 3.9444 grade point average on 4.0 scale, while salutatorian Landon David McCaig scored 3.9375, putting them 0.0069 points apart.

On a weighted scale that takes into account advanced courses and other factors, salutatorian McCaig's 5.5062 grade point average was just two-hundredths of a point behind Jackson's 5.5296.

"It's one of the closest I've known of in several years," King said. "To be two-hundredths of a point separated speaks highly of these two individuals."

McCaig is the son of David and Lisa McCaig. His mother is a risk manager at Grocery Supply Company, and his father is an engineering analyst with TXU. They were unable to join him for today's announcement, however — they are currently in Greece.

McCaig said sports was probably the highlight of his high school years, when he competed on the varsity tennis and soccer teams and was a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

But he was also involved in the student council and was student body treasurer. He competed in University Interscholastic League academic competition, finishing as a state alternate on the calculator team that placed second at the regional contest.

"My parents have instilled a good work ethic in me, and they have always taught me to give God the glory for my achievement," he wrote of the traits that contributed to his achievement.

He will attend Abilene Christian University where he expects to major in biology. Ultimately, he plans to work in the medical field, with his sights set on a career as an orthopedic surgeon.

Jackson's college choice is Southern Nazarene University. Currently, he hopes to one day become a college professor of science, and his career path was influenced by one teacher in particular, Crystal Reneau.

"She's the one who gave me a passion for the sciences," he said.

His high school resume is lengthy. Activities include theater and membership in the International Thespian Society, where he was secretary. He was in the National Honor Society and served as treasurer of the National Society of High School Scholars. He served on the student council, and was a member of Key Club and Spanish Club.

Academically, he competed in University Interscholastic League contests in math, science, debate and one-act play. He was also a member of the High School Leadership Class.

Honors include awards in pre-advanced placement algebra II, pre-calculus and Spanish II. He was also named honorable mention All-Star Cast in district one-act play competition.

He attributes his success to a "strong work ethic, desire to learn, strong friendships, desire to excel," and a "strong, close walk with Christ."

"Robby is an exceptional kid," said his father, Robert Jackson, who works with Flowserve Inc. "God has given him a good mind and a lot of talent, and the ability to use it."

His mother, Debra Jackson, who works at the Sulphur Springs Library, said when he told them he wanted to work toward being valedictorian, they said he would have to work hard, but "we would love him no matter where he landed."

"And he has landed," she said.

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK

News-Telegram Managing Editor

There's hope for the future yet, if Robby Jackson and Landon McCaig are any indication.

The Sulphur Springs High School seniors were announced today as valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2007.

"This is a very important day each year," said SSHS Principal Chuck King, who is retiring at the end of the school year. "We recognize two people who have set themselves apart academically."

And by that, he means the two set themselves apart from the rest of the student body, but barely from each other — their final grades were within hundredths of points of each other.

The valedictorian, Jackson (full name Robert McLellon Jackson II), compiled a 3.9444 grade point average on 4.0 scale, while salutatorian Landon David McCaig scored 3.9375, putting them 0.0069 points apart.

On a weighted scale that takes into account advanced courses and other factors, salutatorian McCaig's 5.5062 grade point average was just two-hundredths of a point behind Jackson's 5.5296.

"It's one of the closest I've known of in several years," King said. "To be two-hundredths of a point separated speaks highly of these two individuals."

McCaig is the son of David and Lisa McCaig. His mother is a risk manager at Grocery Supply Company, and his father is an engineering analyst with TXU. They were unable to join him for today's announcement, however — they are currently in Greece.

McCaig said sports was probably the highlight of his high school years, when he competed on the varsity tennis and soccer teams and was a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

But he was also involved in the student council and was student body treasurer. He competed in University Interscholastic League academic competition, finishing as a state alternate on the calculator team that placed second at the regional contest.

"My parents have instilled a good work ethic in me, and they have always taught me to give God the glory for my achievement," he wrote of the traits that contributed to his achievement.

He will attend Abilene Christian University where he expects to major in biology. Ultimately, he plans to work in the medical field, with his sights set on a career as an orthopedic surgeon.

Jackson's college choice is Southern Nazarene University. Currently, he hopes to one day become a college professor of science, and his career path was influenced by one teacher in particular, Crystal Reneau.

"She's the one who gave me a passion for the sciences," he said.

His high school resume is lengthy. Activities include theater and membership in the International Thespian Society, where he was secretary. He was in the National Honor Society and served as treasurer of the National Society of High School Scholars. He served on the student council, and was a member of Key Club and Spanish Club.

Academically, he competed in University Interscholastic League contests in math, science, debate and one-act play. He was also a member of the High School Leadership Class.

Honors include awards in pre-advanced placement algebra II, pre-calculus and Spanish II. He was also named honorable mention All-Star Cast in district one-act play competition.

He attributes his success to a "strong work ethic, desire to learn, strong friendships, desire to excel," and a "strong, close walk with Christ."

"Robby is an exceptional kid," said his father, Robert Jackson, who works with Flowserve Inc. "God has given him a good mind and a lot of talent, and the ability to use it."

His mother, Debra Jackson, who works at the Sulphur Springs Library, said when he told them he wanted to work toward being valedictorian, they said he would have to work hard, but "we would love him no matter where he landed."

"And he has landed," she said.

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