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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Valedictorians speak out

The campus custom of honoring those dedicated students who have persevered through four years of hard work culminates with last farewells from the valedictorian and salutatorian at graduation.

In preceding years, each student who obtained a 4.0 GPA or higher gave a valedictorian speech at graduation. However, with the implement of the extra grade point for honors and AP classes, this tradition is no longer a part of the ceremony.

?Since three years ago we added the extra credit for honors courses, it was decided that there would be too many with a 4.0 GPA for each of them to give a speech,? Principal Gary Schultz said. ?It would seem like we were watering down the valedictorian and salutatorian positions.?

While the honor students will not be giving speeches this year, each will be awarded the honor plaque and recognized individually for their achievement.

Out of the many honor students in the class of 2005, two emerge to lead their class in academics.

Valedictorian Anne Hierholzer and salutatorian Chris White, who both have attended campus since kindergarten, have agreed to give some insight into their achievement.

Q. What was your first reaction to hearing the news that you would be giving the speeches at graduation?

A. Anne: It?s a nice fulfillment to all my hard work over the years. I?m a little nervous about giving a speech, but AcaDec helped me practice.

Chris: It?s exciting being asked to speak to the whole school, but it?s also nerve wracking. I?m only an eighteen-year-old student; I don?t feel worthy or qualified to give advice just because I?m a hard worker.

Q. Do have any idea what you will speak about?

A. Anne: We?re doing our speech together and we plan on talking about some memories from our 13 years at FC. It will be sort of a self-help speech.

Chris: Probably about other people in the class and thankfulness. The worst is when
you talk about yourself. I won?t be doing that. We’ve had some unique experiences and we’ll probably share some lessons we’ve learned.

Q. How do you feel about speaking in front of people?

A. Anne: I?m not huge on speaking in front of people and I?m always a little nervous. Chris: It?s always a little nerve-racking speaking in front of parents. Sometimes they don?t understand the humor their kid thinks is funny.

Q. Who has been your academic inspiration?

A. Anne: My family. They always expected me to do well and believed that I could.
Chris: My mother. She always encouraged when I did well and disciplined me when I did badly.

Q. Were you consciously thinking about your GPA and grades in ninth grade?

A. Anne: It was always on my mind. I?ve wanted to do well in school ever since I can remember.

Chris: Yeah, Mr. Ken Davis gave me a B in fourth grade and I vowed I would never get another one until Mr. Jon Hall?s AP U.S. history class. We learned how fast a water buffalo moves and how dangerous they are. If you attack them, they will hunt you down and kill you.

Q. Where are you going to college and why?

A. Anne: I?m going to Rice University in Houston, Texas. It?s a really good school (one of the top 20 in the nation), but the students there have a lot of fun. It?s the best of both worlds.

Chris: I?m going to Fresno Pacific University in Fresno. I enjoyed the idea of being close to home. I don?t want to sever those connections. Plus, the teachers have an active interest in their student?s lives.

Q. What advice would you give to high schoolers?

A. Anne: If you need a tutor, get one. Start studying early. Overall just don?t procrastinate.

Chris: Do your best. Sounds cheesy, I know. However, if you always take the harder route you?ll wind up being a stronger student. Oh, and on a side note, getting A?s are worthless if you forget everything over the summer.

Q. Is there any downside to being Valedictorian and Salutatorian?

A. Anne: Sometimes I feel pressure to be perfect all the time, but generally good grades really pay off.
Chris: No. How can there be? You get scholarships!

Q. What hair products do you use?

A. Anne: Suave, for fine hair.

Chris: Tea Tree Oil shampoo, it?s minty cold on your head (angelic chorus). If I run out of that I just use my mom?s shampoo in the gray bottle. It kind of makes me smell girly, but it works.

Resisting the temptation to cruise through their senior year, Hierholzer and White continued to take challenging courses, including AP English, AP Calculus and Academic Decathlon, proving that those who wish to succeed never stop striving.

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