HOUSTON – Houston Independent School District’s Bellaire High School has a record-breaking 13 valedictorians, surpassing last year’s nine students who graduated with a perfect grade point average, according to a release.
The valedictorians are Margaret Schwierking, Jason Yao, Owen Zhang, Katherine Chen, Sophia Hernandez, Collin Crockett, Justice Cordova, Annie Lin, Crystal Tang, Albert Zhu, Donne Su, Nina Zhang, and Richard Lin all earned a 5.0 GPA.
“We must not forget that half of their high school experience happened during a pandemic. Yet, despite all the challenges, they still earned a perfect GPA,” said HISD Superintendent Millard House II. “I congratulate the valedictorians and salutatorians from all our high school campuses. Their persistence and dedication will allow them to achieve amazing success in the years ahead.”
Valedictorian Sophia Hernandez said her most challenging time over the past four years was when classes were virtual.
“The pandemic made it especially hard to keep our grades up,” Hernandez said. “It’s a challenge when you are working alone. But, it is always easier when you are around your peers.”
Valedictorian Owen Zhang said it took a great deal of focus during the virtual phase.
“We all adjusted and learned to communicate during the virtual period,” Zhang said. “It was tough in the beginning, but we adapted.”
Principal Michael McDonough said he’s always impressed with his valedictorians as produce high grades while participating in numerous extracurricular activities.
“They are impressive academically, are class leaders, and maximize the opportunities at Bellaire High School,” McDonough said.
The 13 Bellaire High School students will join dozens of other HISD valedictorians and salutatorians at the annual Scholars Recognition Ceremony on April 12 at Delmar Fieldhouse.