HISD Scholars Banquet honors Class of 2016 valedictorians and salutatorians

HISD Scholars Banquet honors Class of 2016 valedictorians and salutatorians HISD paid tribute to 99 high school seniors at the top of their class at the annual Scholars Banquet on April 12 at the Westin Oaks Galleria. In addition to their outstanding academic achievements, these valedictorians and salutatorians have already garnered more than $10 million in scholarships and financial aid offers.

“You have accomplished something truly rare and special,” said HISD Interim Superintendent Ken Huewitt. “You are a perfect example of what it means to be a global graduate from a global district in a global city. Wherever you go from here, you will be ready for the world.”

Also attending the banquet were HISD Board of Education Trustees Diana Dávila, Rhonda Skillern-Jones, and Jolanda Jones.

“Each of you has made excellence a habit,” Trustee Dávila said. “Day in and day out, you paid attention in class, read, studied, and completed assignments on time. You have given up Friday night football games and Saturday night dances, but now you have what it takes to truly succeed.”

Chief of Major Projects Rick Cruz spoke next, pointing out that there are 11,000 seniors in HISD and that attendees were “the best of the best.” He singled out Madison High School’s valedictorian, Lesbia Espinal Rodriguez, who came to HISD from Honduras in 2008 and entered HISD as a fifth-grader. Thanks to her perseverance and the EMERGE program, she received a full scholarship to Brandeis University valued at $200,000.

Cruz also mentioned Timeria Conley, valedictorian at Barbara Jordan High School, who is graduating with a 4.4 GPA. She plans to attend Texas A&M University to study biomedical science and pursue a career as a neurosurgeon or emergency medical physician.

Twin sisters Courtlyn Leigh Ranly and Kelley Moran Ranly tied for valedictorian of Texas Connections High School and are planning to attend Texas A&M University as well.

Competition for these honors is fierce, and sometimes it comes down to a thousandth of a point. There are four other ties as well: Carnegie Vanguard valedictorians Annum Sadana and Victoria Lynn Songyang; East Early College High School’s valedictorians Mirayda D. Martinez and Cesar A. Rodriguez; Eastwood Academy’s salutatorians Alexandra Mena and Edith Flores; and Mount Carmel’s Edward Eddie Bernal and Erika Daniella Ortiz.

The banquet was sponsored by Smart Financial Credit Union, which was founded in 1934 by 10 teachers. “The credit union has always served educators,” said Chief Executive Director of Larry Seidl. He told students that their “tireless commitment to education has given you all the tools you need to be successful.” Huewitt and Dávila presented Seidl with a trophy.

List of HISD Class of 2016 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

Austin High School

Valedictorian: Melanie Elaine Salazar

Salutatorian: Joshua Emmanuel Puente

Bellaire High School

Valedictorian: Amber Eimily Liu

Salutatorian: Liana Wang

Carnegie Vanguard High School

Valedictorians: Annum Sadana and Victoria Lynn Songyang

Challenge Early College High School

Valedictorian: Chianti Kamoray Price

Salutatorian: Anthony Curtis Mallory

Chávez High School

Valedictorian: Tram Dinh Huyen Tran

Salutatorians: Daniela Uribe

Davis High School

Valedictorian: Luz Adriana De Leon

Salutatorian: Felipe Rodriguez

DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Valedictorian: Akshaya Annapragada

Salutatorians: Gary Zhang

East Early College High School

Valedictorians: Mirayada D. Martinez and Cesar A. Rodriguez

Eastwood Academy

Valedictorian: Michael Casio

Salutatorians: Alexandra Mena and Edith Flores

Energized for E-STEM Central High School

Valedictorian: Irasema Idalia Cruz-Lopez

Salutatorian: Briana Da’Shay Roberson

Energized for E-STEM West High School

Valedictorian: Roxana Yadira Ruiz

Salutatorian: Lidia Del Carmen Molina Serpas

Furr High School

Valedictorians: Brenda Lourdes Gonzalez

Salutatorian: Paola Lizeth Ramon

High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice

Valedictorian: Diana Janet Sandoval

Salutatorian: Jennifer Lopez

High School for the Performing & Visual Arts

Valedictorian: Kate Alexandra Ham

Salutatorian: Emily Hendrina Soice

Houston Academy for International Studies

Valedictorian: Shivani Bhaskar Trivedi

Salutatorian: David Mena

Jane Long Academy

Valedictorian: Shahrukh Rahman Ali

Salutatorian: Kinza Rizwan

Jones Futures Academy

Valedictorian: Desiree Marie Watts-Gardner

Salutatorian: Xavier Rene Barreda

Jordan High School

Valedictorian: Timeria Juanita Carol Conley

Salutatorian: Jennifer Gomez

Kashmere High School

Valedictorian: Kiana M. Sheffield

Salutatorian: Na’Keya A. Jordan

Lamar High School

Valedictorian: Philip X. Tran

Salutatorian: Jacob A. Harrison

Lee High School

Valedictorians: Oscar Wu

Salutatorian: Karim A. Saber

Liberty High School

Valedictorian: Ayat Alnour Bakora

Salutatorian: Karol Vanessa Castro Seren

Madison High School

Valedictorian: Lesbia Elizabeth Espinal Rodriguez

Salutatorian: Helili Josefina Torres

Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men

Valedictorian: Marcos Lopez

Salutatorian: Darrell Diggs

Middle College High School – HCC Fraga

Valedictorian: DeShonda Denise Varnado

Salutatorian: Gissell Maldonado

Middle College High School – HCC Gulfton

Valedictorian: Sandra Yanira Aguilar

Salutatorian: None

Milby High School

Valedictorian: Jesus Amilkar Reyna

Salutatorian: Joe Manuel Salazar

Mount Carmel Academy

Valedictorian: Samuel Cave Lewis

Salutatorians: Edward Eddie Bernal and Erika Daniella Ortiz

North Forest High School

Valedictorian: Charlotte Ayala

Salutatorian: Jhebre Warren

North Houston Early College High School

Valedictorian: Cyrus Armand Gordillo

Salutatorian: Anthony Raul Ramirez

REACH Charter High School

Valedictorian: Julieta Victoria Mendoza

Salutatorian: Roberto Del Angel-Olvera, Jr.

Reagan High School

Valedictorian: Misael Gutierrez

Salutatorian: Aitor Jimenez

Sam Houston Math, Science & Technology Center

Valedictorian: Pamela Toledo

Salutatorian: Jose Alberto Pineda

Scarborough High School

Valedictorian: Antonio Rivera IV

Salutatorian: Briana Guadalupe Orozco

Sharpstown High School

Valedictorian: Raven Jade McIntosh

Salutatorian: Billy Danny Ramos

Sharpstown International School

Valedictorian: Mater Dolorosa Chinasaokwu N. Osueke

Salutatorian: Karen Guadalupe Ortiz

South Early College High School

Valedictorian: Sejeia Lillian Freelon

Salutatorian: Myranda Kachelle Jannette

Sterling Aviation High School

Valedictorian: Maryury Lizzeth Santos Cruz

Salutatorian: Shemaun Markell Thomas

Texas Connections Academy Houston

Valedictorians: Courtlyn Leigh Ranly and Kelley Moran Ranly

Waltrip High School

Valedictorian: Clayton Edward Malkowsky

Salutatorian: Emily Kate Roberts

Washington High School

Valedictorian: Joshua Rahat Rahman

Salutatorian: Osvaldo Emanuel Vasquez

Westbury High School

Valedictorian: Kezia Silke Flores

Salutatorian: Natalie Giselle Escobar

Westside High School

Valedictorian: Prachi Surbhi

Salutatorians: Autumn Lee Caraway

Wheatley High School

Valedictorian: Branaun Anthony Galentine

Salutatorian: Karla Paola Pardo

Worthing High School

Valedictorian: Taylor Lynise Hodrick

Salutatorian: Colandria Evleen Haynes

Yates High School

Valedictorian: Gurpreet Kaur Garcha

Salutatorian: Tanya Marie Owens

Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy

Valedictorian: Paige Allison Moore

Salutatorian: Yenifer Jasmin Martinez


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