The Santo High School Class of 2021 is preparing to take the stage, with graduation scheduled for Saturday. Walking among those students will be valedictorian Holli Richards and salutatorian Marissa Perry.
Get to know a little more about them below:
Holli Christina Richards, valedictorian,
Parents: Gary and DeLora Richards
School activities/organizations: Beta Club, Student Council, academic UIL, concert and marching band, Science Olympiad and FFA.
Favorite TV show: Law & Order: SVU
Favorite movie: Legends of the Fall
Favorite band/group/musical artist: George Strait and Tracy Lawrence
Favorite book: Bitter River
College you plan on attending and what field of study you plan to major/minor in: I plan on earning my BSN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing, at Texas A&M University.
What do you think you will remember about high school when looking back on it years from now? The memories I have made in class, specifically in Dual Credit A&P. My proctor, Mrs. Jeter, offered so much love, guidance, and discipline to our small class. It’s funny how large of an impression a teacher can leave upon our lives. Sure, Mrs. Jeter taught me lessons, but she also taught me other, much more important things. She taught me to love learning and to be proud of my accomplishments. She never gave up on me, or my classmates, regardless of how frustrating we could be. With a deep breath, she pushed us forward because she knew that one day the work she put in would make a difference. And it did! She will always hold a special place in my heart. Love you Mrs. J!
What would you like to say to your senior classmates? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” - Proverbs 3:5-6
What advice would you give undergrads and younger students when it comes to their academics and school-related activities, those striving to achieve the level of success you have, and those who might need some motivation to go for it and do their best? What motivated you, and to what, or who, do you credit your academic success? Throughout high school, I had little push from my parents to make straight As in my classes or to study as hard as I do. The motivation came from my own desire to achieve this honor for myself. If you want something, you can’t depend on someone else to drive you. However, my parents have always been my biggest fans in all of my academic endeavors. Along with personal incentive, surround yourself with people who are going to encourage and challenge you in your current and future successes.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned, and will take away, regarding what has happened regarding the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it has had on you, your senior year and perhaps it is having on your family and friends? When a crisis arises, such as the current pandemic, you realise just how valuable your friends and family are to your life. Embrace time and take great value in a single moment. Don’t take anything for granted.
Marissa Perry, salutatorian
Parents: Bradford Perry and Tammi Perry
School activities/organizations: National Beta Club, Student Council, Marching and Concert Band Leadership, One Act Play, Academic UIL, Science Olympiad, Varsity Cross Country, Varsity Track, and Varsity Softball
Favorite TV show: Sherlock Holmes
Favorite movie: Interstellar
Favorite band/group/musical artist: Led Zeppelin
Favorite book: Station Eleven by Emily Mandel
College you plan on attending and what field of study you plan to major/minor in: I plan to attend the University of Texas at Austin in the fall with a major in astronomy.
What do you think you will remember about high school when looking back on it years from now? I will always remember the close connections I had among my high school classmates and teachers. Within such a small community, the bonds I have had with like-minded people are hard to come by and precious to me.
What would you like to say to your senior classmates? Take this time after high school to find yourself and your passion. Whether you dream of starting your own business, creating art, or traveling the world, just make sure you are doing what you love. Don’t wait for opportunities to fall in front of you, or you will never experience the best ones. And, most importantly, be genuine with yourself and what you want out of life. I hope all of you get the most out of your next step in the world. Good luck!
What advice would you give undergrads and younger students when it comes to their academics and school-related activities, those striving to achieve the level of success you have, and those who might need some motivation to go for it and do their best? What motivated you, and to what, or who, do you credit your academic success? Moderation is key when it comes to academic success. I definitely recommend sitting down with a planner, listing your upcoming assignments, and devoting enough time to work on them leading up to the due dates. Space out your study sessions to reduce procrastination and avoid cramming the night before an important exam. This way, you will find yourself with more stress-free time to pursue other hobbies, social activities, and extracurriculars. Personally, I was able to stay motivated in academics because I didn’t overwhelm myself, and I always enjoyed the process of learning something new.