Graduation ceremonies begin this week, and we are pleased to feature our high school valedictorians and salutatorians for this year.
DVDs and Blu-rays of Northside’s graduation ceremonies are available for purchase online. They are professionally-produced and contain the complete graduation ceremony. DVDs cost $20 plus a processing fee per transaction for any online orders. Blu-rays cost $25 plus a processing fee per transaction for any online orders.
In addition, each graduation ceremony will be streamed live at www.nisd.net beginning 15 minutes prior to each ceremony. The live-stream is available on mobile devices. The full schedule of ceremonies can be found on the Graduation website.
Christine DeFilippo, Valedictorian
Shuying “Jenny” Zhao, Salutatorian
Christine DeFilippo, the valedictorian for Brandeis High School, plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin and major in Science, Technology, and Engineering Management at the Red McCombs School of Business. She plans to pursue a career as a medical doctor and biomedical engineer.
DeFilippo earned several scholarships including the TEA Highest Ranking Graduate Scholarship, Brandeis PTA Scholarship, the Bob Beard Memorial Scholarship, Miss Texas’ Outstanding Teen Highest GPA Scholarship, and Miss Texas’ Outstanding Teen Top Ten Finalist Scholarship.
The daughter of Patricia and Michael DeFilippo also attended Beard Elementary School and Hector Garcia Middle School. During her time at Brandeis, she served as Varsity Mixed Choir Choreographer and French Laureate/French Club Officer. She was a member of Region Choir and is a UIL Solo and Ensemble State Medalist. She also served as Miss San Antonio Teen USA and Miss Alamo City Outstanding Teen.
“My teachers have pushed me, challenged me, and imparted valuable knowledge,” DeFilippo said. “However their lessons have gone beyond the classroom in the values of respect, hard work, and selflessness that they have instilled in me. I not only have teachers, but mentors and role models.”
Shuying “Jenny” Zhao, the salutatorian for Brandeis High School, plans to major in philosophy at The University of Texas Austin to prepare for a career as an intellectual property lawyer. She earned a National Merit Scholarship and Murchison Scholarship.
The daughter of John Zhao and Flora You also attended Scobee Elementary School and Hector Garcia Middle School.
Zhao cites her fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Killian, as her most influential teacher in Northside. “She made the traumatic experience of moving schools mid-year bearable. Mrs. Killian made me feel welcome and was a great introduction to the stellar teachers in Northside. I thoroughly enjoyed the short time I spent in her classroom.”
At Brandeis, she served as secretary of Mu Alpha Theta and President and Founder of the PSAT/SAT Readiness Club.
“My teachers have played an enormous role in my intellectual development by challenging me on a daily basis,” Zhao said. “Additionally, I’m really grateful that I’ve had the chance to take AP and Dual Credit courses that have prepared me for the rigorous expectations of college.”
Arielle Steele, Valedictorian
Katherine Vasko, Salutatorian
Arielle Steele is the 2018 valedictorian at Brennan High School. She also attended Ott Elementary School and Luna Middle School. She plans to major in visualization at Texas A&M University in preparation for a career in computer animation. The daughter of Jim and Yvonne Steele earned a College Board Recognition Award Scholarship as a National Hispanic Scholar and a Highest Ranking Graduate Exemption Scholarship.
“I’ve liked all my teachers, but I think my most influential teacher was Mrs. LeBron who taught my social studies courses in sixth and seventh grade,” Steele said. “She always trusted me with extra responsibilities and motivated me to be the best I could be.”
Steele was a member of the Brennan Marching Band drumline and Wind Ensemble for four years. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.
“Northside offers a lot of AP, Dual Credit, and elective courses that allow students to practice for their future careers,” Steele said. “Having to balance my coursework and extracurricular activities has really trained me to manage my time in a way that will be similar to college.”
Katherine Vasko is the 2018 salutatorian at Brennan High School. She attended Galm Elementary School and Luna Middle School. The daughter of Frank and Christy Vasko plans to study psychology at Dallas Baptist University and then go into the counseling profession.
She was captain and co-captain of the Brennan varsity swimming and water polo teams and also served on the worship team at Village Parkway Baptist Church.
She received a Valero Alamo Bowl Scholarship, Lackland Spouses Club Scholarship, and Christian Leadership and Academic Honors scholarships from Dallas Baptist University.
“While I had several very influential teachers in my time in Northside, my most influential teacher was Mrs. Logan, my choir director at Luna MS,” Vasko said. “She taught me a lot about music, but she also taught me a lot of things beyond music. She always encouraged me, and all of her students, to go outside our comfort zones and she created an atmosphere where we felt comfortable doing so.”
Jordan Vigil, Valedictorian
Devin Norman, Salutatorian
Jordan Vigil, the valedictorian at Business Careers High School, plans to major in computer science at The University of Texas at Austin and pursue a career as a computer programmer/software engineer.
“Northside has prepared me for college by offering various AP and Dual Credit courses that have curriculum similar to college classes,” Vigil said. “They have also help me prepare for my future career by offering various computer science courses at Business Careers.”
The son of Robin and Juan Vigil also attended Timberwilde Elementary School and Connally Middle School. He earned several scholarships and grants including a Trustee Scholarship from St. Mary’s University, a Toward Excellence, Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant, Texas Public Education Grant Match, and a Texas Advance Commitment Award from UT Austin.
“Patricia Fair has been my most influential NISD teacher because she helped me realize my passion for Computer Programming and provided excellent lectures and instructions that allowed for me to gain a better understanding of various programming concepts and languages,” Vigil said.
Devin Norman, the salutatorian at Business Careers High School, plans to attend St. Mary’s University where he will study biology and prepare for a career as a pediatrician.
The son of Kevin and Tabatha Norman attended Scarborough Elementary School and Stinson, Jefferson, and Folks middle schools.
Norman earned a Business Careers Scholarship, Tomorrow Scholarship, St. Mary’s University Presidential Scholarship, and Dean’s Scholarship from the University of the Incarnate Word.
He served as vice president of the National Honor Society and credits Business Careers teacher Diana Johnston for pushing him to do his best.
“When the SAT came around, she told me to concentrate and not overthink the questions,” Norman said. “The guidance I was given made me push harder towards my goal. Overall, the skills I’ve learned from her will help me going into my higher education.”
Sophia Abuabara, Valedictorian
John Friedberg, Salutatorian
Sophia Abuabara is this year’s valedictorian at Clark High School. She plans to study physics and mathematics at the University of Chicago to work towards a career as a theoretical physicist. The daughter of Sabas and Rosey Abuabara also attended Hobby Middle School.
She earned a University Scholarship from the University of Chicago. At Clark, she served as Class president and co-president of Latin Club. She cites her Latin teacher, William Lee, as her most influential teacher.
“He taught me in 9th, 11th, and 12th grades, however Mr. Lee has been a mentor to me all throughout my high school career,” Abuabara said. “He has pushed me to be a better student and has introduced me to the wonderful community of the Junior Classical League.”
“Above all, I’d like to thank my parents and my brothers, whose love and dedication inspired me to be the best I can be.”
John Friedberg is this year’s salutatorian at Clark High School and plans to major in physics and mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He hopes to become a Scientific Researcher at NASA.
The son of Dr. Michael and Barbara Friedberg also attended Blattman Elementary School and Hobby Middle School. He earned several scholarships including a Whitman College Merit Award, Reed College Merit Award, and was a Garrett Scholar Finalist at Whitman College.
At Clark, Friedberg served as consul and scribe of the Latin Club and was co-founder of the Current Events Club. His most influential teachers in Northside were his Latin teacher William Lee and eighth grade teacher Timothy Montgomery.
“Mr. Lee has provided me with countless opportunities that I would not have had otherwise and has always encouraged me to give 110 percent in everything that I do,” Friedberg said. “Mr. Montgomery laid the initial groundwork for the kind of student I am today. Without him, I would have never reached where I am today.”
Molly Ross, Valedictorian
Kierstin Wilkins, Salutatorian
Molly Ross is the 2018 valedictorian of Communications Arts High School. She plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin and major in History as part of the Liberal Arts Honors and Jefferson Scholars programs. Future career possibilities for Ross include political consultant or history professor.
“My seventh grade Texas history teacher, Mr. Van, helped me discover how much I love history,” said Ross. “In fact, his class is one of the reasons I have decided to major in history.”
The daughter of Mary Ross and Darryl Schmidt and Richard Munos, also attended Fernandez Elementary School and Stevenson Middle School.
Among her leadership positions, Ross has served as Student Council President and Secretary, Class President and Secretary, National Honor Society Point Secretary, and as a preschool Sunday school teacher.
Kierstin Wilkins is the 2018 salutatorian of Communications Arts High School and plans to major in English at Rice University to prepare for a career as a lawyer. The daughter of Sara and Nathan Wilkins received a Trinity Towers Scholarship.
Wilkins attended Nichols Elementary School and Stevenson Middle School. Among her leadership positions in high school, Wilkins served as Girl Up Treasurer, Spanish National Honor Society Secretary, Creative Writing Club President, and Class President.
She cites her fourth grade teacher as most influential. “Mrs. Thomas encouraged me to read and write a lot as a child and praised some of my very first stories.”
Melissa Teran, Valedictorian
Samantha Dvorak, Salutatorian
Melissa Teran is the 2018 valedictorian for Construction Careers Academy (CCA). She plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin and major in environmental engineering. She hopes to have a career working with renewable energy to reverse anthropogenic effects on the environment.
The daughter of Laura and Javier Teran also attended Fernandez Elementary School and Zachry Middle School. She earned scholarships from the Alamo Ranch/151 Business Association, the University of Texas at Austin, Camille Florillo Perpetual Scholarship, and Northside branch of the Association of Texas Professional Teachers.
At CCA, she was president and vice president of the Science Club, treasurer of the Outdoorsman Club and served on the Principal’s Cabinet.
Her most influential Northside teacher was her AP Environmental Science teacher Patrick Payne because he is a “passionate teacher who genuinely cares about his students and he served as a great mentor and someone who I would like to emulate in the future. He was always there for me, regardless of what it was.”
She also credits her parents for “giving up everything to immigrate from Mexico to the United States to give me as many opportunities to have a better life than they did growing up. I owe them everything.”
Samantha Dvorak is the 2018 salutatorian for Construction Careers Academy (CCA). She plans to attend The University of Texas at San Antonio and major in construction science to prepare for a career as a construction manager.
The daughter of Michelle Dvorak also attended Scobee Elementary School and Stinson Middle School.
She received several scholarships including a Presidential Scholarship from UTSA and a National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Scholarship. She served as a construction team leader at CCA.
“I want to thank Ms. Ethridge (CCA Programs Coordinator) for finding opportunities for me to get scholarships and internships to support my future plans,” Dvorak said.
She also credits her 11th and 12th grade teacher Walter Myer for making “math so easy to learn and for giving great life advice.”
Camsy Yanru Huang, Valedictorian
Aaron James Mayfield, Salutatorian
Camsy Yanru Huang is the 2018 valedictorian of Health Careers High School. She plans to major in bioengineering at Rice University and study to become a neonatologist.
“Health Careers has provided amazing opportunities to prepare me for a career in the medical field,” Huang said. “Classes like medical terminology and anatomy and physiology created a firm foundation of basic medical knowledge, clinical rotations let me peek into daily hospital action, and scientific research and design introduced me to laboratory research.”
The daughter of Jerry Huang and Lucy Kou attended Locke Hill and Leon Springs elementary schools and Hector Garcia Middle School.
She earned several scholarships including a National Merit Scholarship, United Services Automobile Association Scholarship, a Baylor University Regents’ Gold Scholarship, Abilene Presidential Scholarship, Texas Tech University Presidential Scholarship, and St. Mary’s University Pinnacle PREP Scholarship.
At Health Careers, she served as Student Council President, National Honor Society Treasurer, Future Health Professionals Vice President and Treasurer, and NASA High School Aerospace Scholar.
Her most influential teacher in Northside was her high school teacher Milton Guerra “for being an inspiring computer science teacher and cheerful mentor, always ready to share optimistic life advice and encouragement.”
Aaron James Mayfield is the 2018 salutatorian of Health Careers High School and will attend the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He plans to major in biology to prepare for a career as a pilot physician (active duty pilot and medical doctor).
In addition to his appointment to the Air Force Academy, the son of David and Melanie Mayfield earned a University of Texas at Dallas Academic Excellence Scholarship, a Baylor University President’s Gold Scholarship, and scholarships from Texas A&M University.
At Health Careers, he served as freshman, sophomore, and junior class president and chapter president/officer for Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). He is also a licensed private pilot and president of Aviation Exploring Post #816. He is founder and event coordinator for Serenade Charity Music Volunteer Group.
“NISD has opened up opportunities in leadership, athletics, and high-caliber academics that have helped me discover what it means to be a well-rounded individual,” Mayfield said. “The support from the teachers and administration at Health Careers has fueled me to try new things, such as Cross Country and HOSA, while still challenging me in the classroom so that I am prepared for college.”
Atom Cole Sanchez, Valedictorian
Madeline Andrade, Salutatorian
Atom Cole Sanchez is this year’s valedictorian from Holmes High School and plans to major in chemistry at Texas Tech University to prepare for a career as an anesthesiologist.
The son of Carlos and Margaret Sanchez also attended Esparza Elementary School and Ross Middle School. He earned scholarships from the Benevolent Fund, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., and the Melva Matkin PTA scholarship.
At Holmes, he was a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. He was first chair alto saxophone section leader in the Husky Band and served as a student representative on the 2018 Northside Citizens’ Bond Committee.
He cites his middle school band director, Robert Delgado, as his most influential teacher. “Not only did Mr. Delgado teach the fundamentals of music, he also taught very inspirational life lessons that I still keep with me today.”
“Thank you Holmes Mighty Husky Band Directors for providing a program that made me feel welcomed and supported every day,” Sanchez said. “Thank you to all the Northside ISD staff for the many warm and welcoming smiles and generosities that made every day of school in NISD something special and unique. Thank you Dr. Gonzalez for all the optimism and making one of the most rigorous classes in the curriculum something enjoyable and fun. Thank you Mr. Daniel Leija not only for inspiring my aspirations for the medical field, but igniting my passion for science as a whole.”
Madeline Andrade is this year’s salutatorian from Holmes High School. She plans to study public health at The University of Texas at Austin to prepare for a career as a pediatrician.
The daughter of Juanita Perez and Cesar Andrade also attended Martin Elementary School and Ross Middle School.
She earned a Baumberger Endowment and Holmes Booster Club Scholarship.
“Mrs. Shroyer taught freshman biology and it was in that class that my love for science fostered,” Andrade said. “NISD has prepared me for college and careers by providing numerous opportunities for me to get involved in my school and community and providing AP classes to prepare me for college and receive college credit. A huge thank you to the coaches and teachers who made it possible for me to be at the position I am right now.”
Esmeralda Gonzalez, Valedictorian
Luis Angel Irigoyen, Salutatorian
Esmeralda Gonzalez is the 2018 valedictorian from Jay High School and plans to major in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio to prepare for a career as a materials engineer.
The daughter of Maria Moreno Vega and Fernando Gonzalez also attended Allen Elementary School and Rayburn Middle School. At Jay, she served as secretary of the National Honor Society.
In addition to the Baumberger Endowment Fund, she earned a San Antonio Education Partnership Café College Scholarship, Panhellenic Scholarship, Mexican American Bar Association Scholarship, and UTSA Texas Excellence Award.
Gonzalez said her fifth grade teacher, Mr. Hammer, was her most influential Northside teacher. “He saw my potential and encouraged me to continue to have the same drive I had in my later years, into middle school and high school, not allowing outside influences to negatively affect my education,” Gonzalez said.
“I would also like to thank my mother for being the biggest supporter in my education, for being there when times were tough, and instilling my earliest love for learning. The things she has taught me, both in regards to my education and in my life, will never leave me and will forever be the things I am most thankful for.”
Luis Angel Irigoyen is the 2018 salutatorian from Jay High School and plans to study computer science at Northwest Vista College to prepare for a career as a video game developer.
The son of Maria and Rafael Irigoyen received a San Antonio Education Partnership Café College Scholarship and University of Houston Scholarship.
At Jay, Irigoyen was the baritone and tuba section leader and head band librarian for the Mustang Band.
He says his UIL Coach/Math Teacher Susan Hernandez was his most influential Northside teacher. “She has contributed to the many wonderful memories I was able to create in high school with my Math UIL teammates. She has always believed in me and pushed me to be the best version of myself.”
“I have had many people enter and exit my life these past few years and would like to thank every last one of them for any miniscule impact they might have had throughout my journey in high school.”
Myriam Gutierrez, Valedictorian
Rachel Walsdorf, Salutatorian
Myriam Gutierrez is the 2018 valedictorian from the Jay Science and Engineering Academy and plans to major in mathematics at Abilene Christian University to prepare for a career as a mathematician.
The daughter of Oscar and Alice Gutierrez also attended Boone, Ward, and Scarborough elementary schools and Jefferson and Folks middle schools. She earned an Abilene Christian University Presidential Scholarship, Valero Scholarship, Andy Mireles Charitable Foundation Scholarship, and Barbara Bell Packer Scholarship.
She served as orchestra secretary and vice president and National Honor Society vice president and secretary.
Gutierrez credits her fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Casey, for inspiring her to overcome academic struggles and see her true potential.
“I can distinctly remember a time in my youth where I wasn’t particularly fond of going to school. I found learning challenging and uninteresting,” Gutierrez said. “This mind frame contributed to my early ‘failures’ in my education, especially in the subject of reading. Despite my academic struggles, it was my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Casey, who changed my outlook on the idea of learning. Mrs. Casey had such a passion for teaching and I saw it especially through the work she did with me. Throughout my year with her, she provided me with reading resources and challenged me with advance math problems, all in an effort to help me improve. It was Mrs. Casey who had also encouraged me to pursue a career in mathematics and who had led me to one of my life’s greatest realizations, thus far: knowledge is power and we should never allow ourselves to stop learning.”
Rachel Walsdorf is the 2018 salutatorian from the Jay Science and Engineering Academy. She plans to study biochemistry and international policy at the University of Notre Dame. She aspires to be a trauma surgeon and work with Doctors Without Borders.
She attended Braun Station Elementary School and Stevenson Middle School. She earned scholarships from Notre Dame, the SEA Advisory Board, and the Band Foundation.
Walsdorf was president of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), on the Math UIL team, community service director for National Honor Society, a student leader for March For Our Lives, and chemistry director for the SEA STEM Fest.
“My biotechnology teacher JoAnn Reeves, my history fair sponsor/special topics teacher Amanda Banda, and my Math UIL coach/calculus teacher Susan Hernandez (were my most influential Northside teachers),” Walsdorf said. “These three outstanding women have not only helped to guide me through challenging high school academics, but are also like moms to me.”
Caroline Campbell, Valedictorian
Benjamin Lisle Updike, Salutatorian
Caroline Campbell is the 2018 Marshall High School valedictorian and plans to study biology at The University of Texas at Austin to prepare for a career in medicine.
The daughter of Steven and Jill Campbell also attended Rhodes Elementary School and Neff Middle School. She held several leadership positions at Marshall including Class of 2018 treasurer and varsity cheer captain. Campbell was also involved in Student Council, National Honor Society, volleyball, track, golf and theater.
“I find choosing one most influential teacher extremely difficult since so many of my teachers have shaped me to be who I am today,” Campbell said. “However, Mrs. Campbell (no relation), my middle school GT teacher has genuinely inspired me. During middle school, I was beginning to make the change from little girl to young adult. She was always there to comfort me, motivate me to believe in myself, and tell me to always strive to be the best version of myself.”
Benjamin Updike is the 2018 Marshall High School salutatorian. He will attend Brigham Young University on a full-tuition scholarship and study to become an ophthalmologist.
The son of Mary Ann and Lisle Updike attended Boone Elementary School and Rudder Middle School.
He served as head drum major of the Ram Band for two years, treasurer of the National Honor Society, captain of the Academic Decathlon team, vice president of Mu Alpha Theta and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
“Mr. John Calk, my Advanced Placement World History teacher, inspired me to love knowledge,” Updike said. “I learned more in his class than I have learned in any other class.”
Kristina Delagarza, Valedictorian
Matthew Tran, Salutatorian
Kristina Delagarza is this year’s valedictorian at O’Connor High School. She will major in molecular biology at Yale University to prepare for a career as a geneticist.
The daughter of Margie and Frank Delagarza attended Beard Elementary School and Hector Garcia Middle School.
She received scholarships from the Texas State PTA, Helotes Masonic Lodge, Our Lady of Guadalupe Knights of Columbus, and the Jack C. Jordan PTA scholarship.
At O’Connor, she served as co-founder and president of Alpha Gamma Tau (club devoted to community service), president of Friends Having Fun (spending time with students with special needs), and vice president of the National Honor Society. She also was junior coordinator of Vacation Bible School and Children’s Liturgy of the Word.
Delagarza’s most influential Northside teacher was her eighth grade science teacher, Shelley Beck. “Ms. Beck was an amazing teacher because she actually taught. She went beyond showing up and handing out homework; she actually cared about her students. She expressed a genuine concern when someone was struggling in class. She taught eighth grade science and was one of the all-around smartest people I've ever met. She was always willing to help any of us on our science, algebra, and even English or history assignments. She taught me how to take good notes and how to utilize mnemonic devices, but she also taught me that the best way to learn was to understand the material from multiple perspectives.”
Matthew Tran is this year’s salutatorian at O’Connor High School and plans to major in astronomy to prepare for a career as an astronomer. Though he is undecided on a specific college, he has earned numerous scholarships.
The son of Huong Ngo and Henry Tran also attended Hector Garcia Middle School.
He served as captain of the math and science team and was first chair clarinet in orchestra.
“NISD, more specifically my school, has taught me the importance of taking advantage of all of the resources and opportunities that encircle me and making possible the opportunities that were not available in my local area,” Tran said. “I’ll remain overly diligent about self-improvement to become successful in my field.”
Kaitlyn Stanley, Valedictorian
Maya Hammer, Salutatorian
Kaitlyn Stanley is the 2018 valedictorian for Stevens High School. She will be attending the University of the Incarnate Word and plans to major in biology and pharmaceutical sciences to prepare for a career as a pharmacist. The daughter of Blair and Brenda Stanley earned a Presidential Scholarship from Incarnate Word.
She served as varsity cheer captain for two years, as National Honor Society treasurer, and as a Student Ambassador. Before Stevens HS, she attended Lewis Elementary School and Vale Middle School.
Stanley cites her Gifted and Talented/Independent Study Mentorship teacher, Maria Cisneros, as her most influential teacher.
“She helped me through tough times, motivated me to never accept complacency, and prepared me for life after high school,” Stanley said.
Maya Hammer is the 2018 salutatorian for Stevens High School. She will be attending Pepperdine University in Malibu and plans to major in sports medicine/pre-dental studies to prepare for a career as an orthodontist.
The daughter of Debra and Greg Hammer earned several scholarships including a National Dell Scholarship, Shining Star Energy Award, MLK Scholarship, Jack C. Jordan PTA Scholarship, and San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) Blue Cares Scholarship.
Hammer also attended Connally Middle School and Thornton Elementary School. At Stevens, she served as varsity dance colonel for two years, as Thespian Honor Society secretary, and National Honor Society committee co-chair.
“Northside prepared me for college and a career with incredible opportunities over 13 years and because of my invested teachers, directors, and uniquely personable administration,” Hammer said. “Maria Cisneros, my ISM teacher, pushed me through my lowest points and did everything possible to get me to my dream school.”
Abigail Evelyn Munteanu, Valedictorian
Bailee Ann-James Eichelberger, Salutatorian
Abigail Evelyn Munteanu is this year’s valedictorian at Taft High School. She plans to attend The University of Texas at San Antonio and major in biochemistry to prepare for a career in the medical field.
The daughter of Carmen and Nick Munteanu also attended Scarborough Elementary School and Jefferson and Folks middle schools.
She earned a Knights of Columbus Scholarship, Bexar County Medical Society Scholarship, and Distinguished Presidential Scholarship from UTSA.
At Taft, she served as vice president of the Spanish Club and chairman of the Student Council Poster Committee.
She said her most influential teachers are her fourth grade teacher Mrs. Fig who taught her to love to read, and her high school teacher Mr. Kolar who helped her overcome every problem she faced. She credits her time in Northside as where she learned to trust in her abilities and herself.
Bailee Ann-James Eichelberger is this year’s salutatorian at Taft High School. She will attend the University of Texas at San Antonio and major in biology to prepare for a career as a veterinarian.
The daughter of Gigi Fleshman and Robert Eichelberger also attended Brauchle, Ward, and Hoffmann elementary schools and Briscoe Middle School. She received a Distinguished Presidential Scholarship from UTSA.
At Taft, she served as class secretary, Book Club president, and as a PALS veteran. Her most influential Northside teacher was her AVID and PALS instructor, James King, who she considers part of her family.
“I am thankful that I went to Taft,” Eichelberger said. “Taft has the PALS program, which changed the way I see the world. My experiences with my fellow PALS and ALE students are memories I hold in my heart. I have hundreds of pictures of our students at the Special Olympics, Rodeo, and other fieldtrips that make me tear up. I am so lucky to have been in this class – I loved every moment of it.”
Rebecca Marie Rocha, Valedictorian
Tremayne Currie, Salutatorian
Rebecca Marie Rocha is the 2018 valedictorian at Warren High School and plans to major in marketing at The University of Texas at Austin. She earned a National Honor Society Scholarship and a Highest Ranking Scholarship.
The daughter of Oscar and Laura Rocha also attended Timberwilde Elementary School and Connally Middle School. At Warren, she served as president of the choir and was a member of the Zero Hour a-cappella group, National Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta. She ran cross country and track and qualified for the UIL State Cross Country Meet with her team in 2014.
“Warren has been my second home for the past four years, so it is a great honor to represent it as the valedictorian,” Rocha said. “My high school experience has taught me great lessons not only in academics but also in understanding people and being a piece of a diverse society. I am eternally grateful to my family and my teachers for paving such a beautiful road for me, and I am eternally proud to be a Warrior!”
Tremayne Currie is the 2018 salutatorian at Warren High School and plans to major in chemical engineering at Rice University to prepare for a career as a chemical engineer.
The son of Arlene and Fredrick Currie also attended Timberwilde Elementary School and Connally Middle School. He earned a Baumberger Endowment Scholarship and CMSgt. James C. Kemple Memorial Scholarship. Currie was also a member of the Warren Academic Decathlon Team and won First Honor as highest scoring of all students.
“I appreciate all of my family, friends, and teachers who have supported me and inspired me to be the best that I can be,” Currie said. “The time I have experienced with every one of those individuals will always be treasured as I go on in life.”
Currie said his elementary school GT teacher, Sean Vidal, was his most influential Northside teacher.
“Mr. Vidal taught me that challenges are worth going after. He also made learning extremely fun; we mummified a chicken when we were learning about Ancient Egypt.”