Friendly competition drove two students and friends to earn Princeton High School’s top academic honors.
Princeton High School academic rankings place Rayna Samples as valedictorian and Vivian Long as salutatorian of the 341-member Class of 2021.
Rayna posted a weighted grade point average of 5.38 and Vivian came in at 5.3. The weighted averages consider additional points awarded for completing advanced academic classes. The valedictorian and salutatorian each had an unweighted average of 4.0. Both Rayna and Vivian are attending University of Texas at Austin after graduation.
Vivian will major in chemistry in the school’s honors program and plans to become an anesthesiologist.
Vivian said she is looking forward to the freedom that college brings.
“My parents are strict,” Vivian said. “Not in a bad way, but they have always pressed me to do better. I think I know what I am capable of now so it will be nice to give it a go.”
Rayna said she doesn’t know exactly what she wants to major in yet, but said she keeps circling back to a career in high school education, specifically English. She said her English teachers have impacted her greatly.
“Of everyone in my life, the people who have been there for me and supported me when I needed it most, have been some of my teachers,” Rayna said. “I go off and want to do different things, but I always come back to teaching English and I see myself enjoying that.”
Vivian said she comes from a family of scholars; both her parents and her older brother were valedictorians.
Academia has always been important to Vivian and she is happy she and Rayna are competing at the highest levels.
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By Dustin Butler • [email protected]