Valedictorians and Salutatorians lead the Class of 2015

June 5, 2015

Graduation ceremonies will soon begin, and we are pleased to feature our high school valedictorians and salutatorians for this year.

DVDs of Northside’s graduation ceremonies are available for purchase online. Each DVD is a professionally-produced DVD of the complete graduation ceremony. DVDs cost $20 plus a processing fee per transaction for any online orders.

In addition, each graduation ceremony will be streamed live at NISD's website beginning 15 minutes prior to each ceremony.

Brandeis High School

Dillon Yao, Valedictorian 
Frank Jing, Salutatorian

Dillon Yao, the valedictorian for Brandeis High School, plans to major in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California at Berkeley. The son of Shijie Yao and Min Zhao received a UT Merit Scholarship. He served as vice president of the Latin Club, librarian for the Brandeis Orchestra, and captain of the robotics team.

“Thanks to the many teachers who take the time to sponsor clubs and activities that really made my years at Brandeis memorable,” Yao said.

Frank Jing, the salutatorian for Brandeis High School, plans to major in biological studies at Rice University. The son of Mark Jing and Chunling Liu is the recipient of a USAA scholarship. He served as president of the National Honor Society, section leader for the Brandeis rrchestra, and president of the Science Bowl team.

“Thanks for everything mom and dad. I love you both," Jing said.

Brennan High School

Danielle Poblete, Valedictorian
William Sean Bath, Salutatorian

Danielle Poblete is the 2015 valedictorian at Brennan High School. She plans to major in music education at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The daughter of Radzma and Junie Poblete received a UTSA music scholarship. She was a section leader in the Brennan orchestra for four years.

“I would like to thank my family, friends, and teachers for supporting me throughout high school,” Poblete said. “Without them, I probably would not have made it this far.”

William Sean Bath is the 2015 salutatorian at Brennan High School. He plans to double major in International Relations & Global Studies and Russian, Eastern European, & Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. The son of David and Beth Bath received numerous scholarships including the Presidential Achievement scholarship from UT Austin, a Texas PTA scholarship, and an Air Force ROTC scholarship. Among his leadership positions, Bath served as commander of the Air Force Junior ROTC honor society, student counselor at Freshman Cub Camp, and as a church youth council member. He is also an AP Scholar with honors and was Homecoming King senior year.

“I’d like to thank my parents for teaching me to always strive to do my best and that there’s no point in doing something if you’re not trying your hardest,” Bath said. “I would also like to thank all the teachers I’ve had who have taught me valuable skills, both in academics and in life.”

Business Careers High School

Kaitlyn Bloch, Valedictorian
Javier Olivas Menchaca, Salutatorian

Kaitlyn Bloch, the valedictorian at Business Careers High School plans to major in entrepreneurship at St. Mary’s University. The daughter of James and Margie Bloch received a Trustees Scholarship from St. Mary’s. She served as viola section leader in the Holmes orchestra, as a member of the National Honor Society, and is a National Merit Commended scholar. Bloch also designed a science experiment that will head to the International Space Station this summer as part of Mission 7 of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP).

Javier Olivas Menchaca, the salutatorian at Business Careers High School, plans to major in finance at The University of Texas at Austin. The son of Belinda Menchaca received numerous scholarships including the Baumberger Endowment, Jack C. Jordan PTA scholarship, and a scholarship from the Sul Ross Scholars program. He served as captain of the Holmes cheerleading squad, junior class treasurer, and yearbook copy editor.

“I thank my mom for the unconditional support and for being my source of motivation,” Menchaca said. “I also thank God and the rest of my support system for everything I have been able to accomplish throughout my grade school career.”

Clark High School

Kevin Choy, Valedictorian
Cameron Nguyen, Salutatorian

Kevin Choy is this year’s valedictorian at Clark High School and plans to study biomedical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He is the son of Sek and Chun-Mui Choy and received a Cockrell School of Engineering scholarship from UT Austin. At Clark, he served as class treasurer, president of the Science National Honor Society, consul of Latin Club, and captain of the Science Bowl team.

“I would like to thank my family and friends for their continued support,” Choy said. “Without their love and guidance, I would not be where I am today.’’

Cameron Nguyen is this year’s salutatorian at Clark High School and plans to major in computer science at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The son of Hiep and Kim Nguyen received a USAA Collegiate scholarship and was named a UTSA Top Scholar. At Clark, Nguyen served as president of the National Honor Society. He is also an Eagle Scout.

Communications Arts High School

Mariah Salomon, Valedictorian
Reid Goins, Salutatorian

Mariah Salomon is the 2015 valedictorian of Communications Arts High School and plans to study business administration at The University of Texas at Austin. The daughter of Bernard and Catherine Salomon received a Presidential Achievement scholarship from UT Austin. At CAHS, she served as secretary of the National Honor Society.

“I’d like to thank my parents for always supporting me and for never letting me go a day without knowing how proud they are of me,” Salomon said. “I’d also like to thank my teachers, not only for doing amazing jobs of teaching me about the subject matter, but for teaching me that while being a good student is important, being a good person is more important. Finally, I’d like to thank my close friends and family for keeping me sane through the past four years and for reminding me that no matter how hectic life gets, I will always have reasons to smile every day.”

Reid Goins is the 2015 salutatorian of Communications Arts High School and plans to major in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. The son of Tim and Christie Goins was recognized as a Tom Benson Scholar Athlete and received a Jack C. Jordan PTA scholarship. He served as captain of the Taft varsity football and baseball teams, and was recognized for two years as 1st team Academic All-District and as 1st team Academic All-State his senior year. Goins was also a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.

“Thank you to my parents most of all and thank you to every one of my teachers and each person I was involved with in high school,” Goins said.

Construction Careers Academy

Dane Owen Rohrer, Valedictorian
Sebastian Manuel Escobar, Salutatorian

Dane Owen Rohrer is the 2015 valedictorian for Construction Careers Academy. He plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin and major in physics. The son of Timothy and Emily Rohrer served on the CCA Principal’s Cabinet and as founder and co-president of the Humanists Club. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and chess team. For three years he has been a Habitat for Humanity intern.

“I’d like to express my gratitude for my family, friends, and teachers/mentors,” Rohrer said. “In particular I’d like to thank my physics teacher of two years, Mr. Combs, for furthering my interests in physics and our universe. I’d also like to thank my psychology teacher, Mr. Pipes, for helping to shape my worldview and expanding my understanding of the human condition.”

Sebastian Manuel Escobar is the 2015 salutatorian for Construction Careers Academy. He plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in aerospace engineering. The son of Manuel and Susan Escobar received a Valero Alamo Bowl scholarship and a College Board scholarship. He served on the Principal’s Cabinet and was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and chess team. He played goalkeeper for the Warren varsity soccer team was recognized as 1st team Academic All-District for the last two years. Escobar was also recognized as a National Hispanic Scholar.

“I’d like to thank my family for supporting me throughout 13 years of schooling and I know I couldn’t have achieved half of what I did without their backing,” Escobar said. “I’d like to thank my teachers for working with me and inspiring me. Last, I’d like to thank my friends for continuously forcing me to work harder and to keep reaching for the stars. Without all these people, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I’m so grateful for their involvement in my life.”

Health Careers High School

Bharath M. Ram, Valedictorian
Abhinav Sangisetti, Salutatorian

Bharath M. Ram is the 2015 valedictorian of Health Careers High School and plans to major in biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The son of Mohan and Sheela Ram received a UTSA Top Scholar Award. At Health Careers he served as president of Student Council, secretary of Mu Alpha Theta, secretary of the American Sign Language Club, president of the Indian Culture Club, and category leader of Latin Club.

“Thank you to my teachers for guiding me through school, and thank you to my parents for guiding me through life,” Ram said.

Abhinav Sangisetti is the 2015 salutatorian of Health Careers High School. He plans to study computer science at The University of Texas at Austin and aspires to be an entrepreneur or orthopedic surgeon. The son of Sree and Uma Sangisetti is an Eagle Scout and served as vice president of Business Professionals of America.

Holmes High School

Zackarin S. Necesito, Valedictorian
Meagan Hubberd, Salutatorian

Zackarin Necesito is this year’s valedictorian from Holmes High School and plans to study computer science in college. The son of Norman Necesito and Joan Balagtas-Necesito served as editor-in-chief of the Holmes newspaper, vice president of speech and debate, and senior class secretary.

“I’d like to thank a few notable teachers – Mrs. Yzaguirre, Mr. Lopez, and Mr. Singleton –who taught well beyond the curriculum and fed not only our brains, but our hearts as well,” Necesito said. “Also, I’d like to thank my parents for everything they have done for me, especially my dad who started off from humble beginnings in the Philippines living off whatever income or food he and his family could gather. By grabbing opportunities here and there, he worked his way to a full scholarship to one of the best universities in the country. Ever since then, he has been working overseas, trying to improve his life and his family’s life. I owe everything to him and my stepmother, and this is just the beginning.”

Megan Hubberd is this year’s salutatorian from Holmes High School. She is the daughter of Michael and Cindy Hubberd and plans to study animation in college. At Holmes, she received certificates of merit for French, geometry, and principles of information technology. She was recognized as an outstanding AFJROTC cadet and for being among the top ten percent of ROTC cadets as a freshman.

Jay High School

Cristal M. Gonzalez, Valedictorian
Adriana Pecina, Salutatorian

Cristal M. Gonzalez is the 2015 valedictorian from Jay High School and plans to major in biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is the daughter of Maria Cristina Moreno Vega. At Jay, she was a member of the National Honor Society.

“Special thanks to my mom and family members that helped me through school,” Gonzalez said. “I would also like to thank my friends that made this journey with me.”

Adrian Pecina is the 2015 salutatorian from Jay High School and plans to study business at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is the daughter of Perfecto and Maria Pecina. At Jay, she was vice president of the band, a member of the National Honor Society, and played soccer.

“Special thanks to my friends and family for making my high school years memorable,” Pecina said. “I am extremely blessed to have all of you in my life and for all the love and support that has guided me to my success. This would not have been possible without you and I promise to keep making you proud in the future.”

Jay Science and Engineering Academy

James Peterson, Valedictorian
Roberto Garcia, Salutatorian

James Peterson is the 2015 valedictorian from the Jay Science and Engineering Academy and plans to major in bioengineering at Rice University. The son of Paul and Sandra Peterson received The University of Texas at Austin Presidential Scholarship and the Rice University Trustee Distinguished Scholarship. He is a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction. He has been playing the piano for 13 years and was recognized as a Texas Federation of Music Clubs (TFMC) All-State Pianist. He also has served as a teen art guide at the McNay Art Museum.

Roberto Garcia is the 2015 salutatorian from the Jay Science and Engineering Academy. He plans to major in electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The son of Monica Garcia has received numerous scholarships including one from MIT, the Opportunity Award scholarship, the Lechner scholarship, Presidential Achievement scholarship, and College Board Recognition Award scholarship. He was a member of the UIL math and science teams and the National Honor Society.  

Marshall High School

Reid Christopher, Valedictorian
Claire Thornton, Salutatorian

Reid Christopher is the 2015 Marshall High School valedictorian and plans to study engineering at Texas A&M University. He is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Marcus Christopher and Meri Ann Christopher. He received a Valero Alamo Bowl scholarship and a Jimmy Elizabeth Harper and Ethel Harper scholarship. At Marshall, he was vice president of the National Honor Society and drumline captain for the Ram Band. He has also been a member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps for two years.

Claire Thornton is the 2015 Marshall High School salutatorian and plans to major in economics at Princeton University. The daughter of Ana and John Charles Thornton, Jr. received a Sally P. and Glenn L. Ramsdell scholarship and Patricia L. Hartman and Lois C. Hartman scholarship. At Marshall, she served as class vice president and prom fundraising committee chair, varsity orchestra concertmaster, president and secretary of Mu Alpha Theta, and as a member of the National Honor Society and UIL Spelling and Vocabulary team.

“I would like to say thank you to my family and friends for inspiring me to work hard every day, and for helping me grow as a person and student,” Thornton said. “I would also like to thank the Marshall High School community for being such a supportive, friendly, and genuine environment. The nature of this community has truly helped me thrive over the past four years.”

O’Connor High School

Vanessa Lozano, Valedictorian
Hannah Elizabeth Ahart, Salutatorian

Vanessa Lozano is this year’s valedictorian at O’Connor High School. She plans to study mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame. The daughter of Roger and Olivia Lozano earned numerous scholarships including the Provost’s scholarship and University scholarship from Notre Dame, the UCLA Achievement scholarship from the University of California at Los Angeles, and the CSM merit scholarship from Colorado School of Mines. At O’Connor she served as co-captain of the Academic Decathlon team, historian of Environmental Club, vice president of French Club, historian of French National Honor Society, and as Breakfast Buddy Mentor Leader with the National Honor Society. She was also named a National Hispanic Scholar.

“I would like to thank my family and friends for being so supportive throughout my high school years,” Lozano said. “I would not have been able to achieve everything without their support. I would also like to thank Mr. Westbrook for aiding me and serving as a mentor these last three years. My appreciation for education and learning has grown thanks to you.”

Hannah Elizabeth Ahart is this year’s salutatorian at O’Connor High School and plans to study petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University. The daughter of Erik and Lisa Ahart earned several scholarships including a President’s Endowed scholarship and Nelson scholarship. She also earned National Merit recognition. At O’Connor, she was secretary of Mu Alpha Theta and captain of the volleyball team.

Stevens High School

Christopher Robert Fanick, Valedictorian
Sydney Harris, Salutatorian

Christopher Robert Fanick is the 2015 valedictorian for Stevens High School. He plans to major in political science at Trinity University. The son of Christine Keyser-Fanick and E. Robert Fanick received numerous scholarships including the Trinity University Murchison scholarship, Trinity University Tower Award scholarship, Jack C. Jordan PTA scholarship, Martin Goland scholarship, JPSHS Athletic Booster scholarship, and San Antonio Sports Scholar Athlete scholarship. At Stevens, Fanick was starting center for the varsity football team, editorial editor and assistant editor-in-chief for the campus newspaper, copy editor for the yearbook, and Quaestor for the Junior Classical League.

“Thank you to the Stevens administration and teachers for their support,” Fanick said. “I also want to thank Coach Hemphill, Coach Carillo, and the entire Falcon Football coaching staff for a great four years.”

Sydney Harris is the 2015 salutatorian for Stevens High School. She plans to major in history at Rice University. The daughter of Padraic and Yvonne Harris served as secretary and treasurer of the English Honor Society and as captain of the Stevens varsity golf team.

Taft High School

Stephanie Deocampo, Valedictorian
Meghan Elizabeth Lovell, Salutatorian

Stephanie Deocampo is this year’s valedictorian at Taft High School. She plans to attend The University of Texas at Austin. The daughter of Ted and Zen Deocampo served as vice president of the National Honor Society.

“To my family, friends, and teachers – thank you! I cannot and will never be able to say that enough,” Deocampo said. “I am extremely grateful to know and love every single one of you.”

Meghan Elizabeth Lovell is this year’s salutatorian at Taft High School and plans to major in French Studies at Coe College in Iowa. The daughter of George and Beth Lovell received numerous scholarships including the Williston Jones Distinguished Trustee scholarship, a Security Service scholarship, and a VA scholarship. At Taft, she was charter president of the French Honor Society and soprano section co-leader. She also served as a Young Women’s Leader at her church.

“I would like to thank my mom for everything she’s done for me during these four years,” Lovell said. “I would not have been able to do any of this without her pushing me and keeping me from forgetting things. I love you so much.”

Warren High School

Kaylyn Pugh, Valedictorian
Donna Victoria Reyes, Salutatorian

Kaylyn Pugh is the 2015 valedictorian at Warren High School and plans to major in computer science at Stanford University. The daughter of James and Katherine Pugh received a Northside Counseling Association scholarship, Links, Incorporated scholarship, and Military-Civilian Charitable Foundation scholarship.  At Warren, Pugh was a member of the Academic Decathlon team that won regionals and qualified for state two years in a row. She was also a World Scholar’s Cup and Academic World Quest team member. She was captain of a Kiva lending team and was also recognized as a National Achievement Outstanding Participant.

“I would like to thank Mrs. Izaguirre of Jordan Middle School and Ms. Zablocki and Ms. Lagleder for helping me during rough times,” Pugh said. “I also want to thank my parents for supporting me.”

Donna Victoria Reyes is the 2015 salutatorian at Warren High School and plans to major in biochemistry at Baylor University. The daughter of David and Donna Reyes received a President’s Gold scholarship from Baylor and a Valero Alamo Bowl scholarship. At Warren, she served as president of the National Honor Society and captain of the color guard.

“I would like to say something to the most important people in my life – my family,” Reyes said. “Without the support of my mother, father, sister, and grandmother, I could not have made it this far. It’s going to be hard not coming home every day and seeing your faces or feeling your embrace. I am so grateful for every wise word, kind action, and unforgettable moment you gave me to keep me going all these years. You have prepared me well for the real world and I will make you proud. I love each of you endlessly, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.”