Wednesday, June 12, 2024

GHS names 2024 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

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Granbury High School announces the class of 2024 Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Valedictorian Abigail Stone and Salutatorian Bailey James achieved the top academic honors.

ABIGAIL STONE: VALEDICTORIAN 

Granbury High School named Abigail Stone Valedictorian of its 2024 class. She earned the designation with her unweighted GPA of 4.925.

Stone said absences from school due to extracurricular activities were her biggest challenge in attaining her academic goal. She was involved in GHS Pride of Granbury (head drum major), GHS Choir (choir council president), GHS Pirate varsity softball, National Honor Society (officer), Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, Acton Methodist Church Hand Bell Choir, UIL calculator and UIL Mathematics. Math, she says, was both her favorite subject and her most challenging.

"I had to work hard to stay on top of my schoolwork while also saving time for my activities," she said. Stone also works at Granbury Live as a concessions/ticket seller and participates in the praise band at Acton Methodist Church.

Stone plans to attend Trinity University and then medical school. Her goal is to become a sports medicine physician. She first became interested in sports medicine when she broke three fingers separately in one semester. "After being in and out of doctors’ offices, I could see myself helping kids like me," Stone said. "A reassurance happened around my junior year when I took my school's anatomy and physiology class and became fascinated with how and why the body activates."

Stone, the first in her family to earn the title of Valedictorian, believes attaining it has brought her fame in the community. "I have connected with my community and created great relationships and opportunities," Stone said.

When asked what she wishes she had known before starting high school, Stone said, "Don't pressurize yourself to what you think other people want. Do things because you love them, not because of an internal/external obligation." Her insightful advice to freshmen is, "No one cares as much as you think they do, so do what makes you happy."

Stone admitted her playful side has not gone away and said, "My favorite animal is a dolphin because, although the ocean scares me now, I used to want to be a mermaid and swim with dolphins." She loves everything to do with music and finds it relaxing. For fun, she fiddles on the piano. An unexpected joy for Stone was becoming the head drum major for the Pride of Granbury. She said, "I never expected to see myself in such a position, but I am grateful for the opportunity. I had such a blast!"

BAILEY JAMES: SALUTATORIAN

Bailey James earned the distinction of Salutatorian of the GHS Class of 2024 with a GPA of 6.154 (multiplier: achieved with 16+ AACs). Her biggest challenge in pursuing the award was managing her time; she wishes she had been better prepared to balance it all. “It was difficult to fit extracurriculars, study time and leisure time into my schedule without overworking myself,” James said.  “I was a member of the Granbury High School band, National Honor Society, W.I.T., H.O.S.A., Calculator UIL, and the Granbury Junior Leadership program.” 

James is a first-generation student in her family to achieve this designation and believes it will present more opportunities for her. “I have learned the importance of hard work, dedication and perseverance in achieving academic excellence,” she said, acknowledging that working toward it gave her a solid academic reputation. “(It’s) one that I will pursue throughout my higher education.”

Since she was little, James has wanted to be in the medical field. Her favorite subject throughout school has always been mathematics, whereas history — not so much. After vacillating about a career path, she now believes anesthesiology or pharmacology are the right fit. She plans to attend Tarleton State University initially, then transfer to Texas A&M to complete her degree, and then attend medical school.

The octopus is James’s favorite animal because it is intelligent and exhibits fascinating behaviors. Exploring new places and spending time with loved ones are high on her list. She works as a server at a restaurant. Her hobbies include playing the trumpet, crocheting, reading, and calligraphy; to relax, she finds a peaceful place to read a good book.

Her advice to incoming first-year students is, “…enjoy each moment. Although it is cliche, time flies by faster than you would imagine. Get yourself out there and take advantage of each opportunity that comes your way.” 

James did not expect to meet such influential teachers throughout her education. “Many teachers have made a profound impact on my life, inspiring me in ways that I did not initially anticipate.”

Valedictorian and Salutatorian profiles for other Hood County schools will be printed in the May 25 edition of the Hood County News.