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Top senior, junior Williams High students in academics honored
They are inspired to be scientists, physicians and a plethora of other vocations that are wide open for the highest academic achievers at Williams High School.
Of course, at least one junior has a fall back position.
Caroline Medina wrote in her biography that her future goals are to "go to a university, study zoology and marry a wealthy man!"
The Super Four seniors and Super Five juniors were honored this week by Delta Theta Pi. They keynote speaker was longtime Williams educator Barbara Mayberry, who told them how critical it is to make good decisions.
"I could give you all kinds of advice: Set goals, stay focused, be committed, care about others," the 1975 Williams High alum said, providing a copy of her speech to the Sun-Herald on Friday. "But you already know these things or you wouldn't be here tonight."
Mayberry is one of four generations who graduated from Williams High. Her grandmother was valedictorian in 1927.
"When I left high school, I would never have believed anyone who told me that someday I would come back here as a teacher. My goals were to get married, raise a family, and have a lot of fun. I soon realized that wasn't going to be as easy as it sounded," Mayberry said.
"To make ends meet, I found myself working odd jobs like selling shoes, cleaning motel rooms, waitressing, eventually becoming a teacher's aide, and then a preschool teacher.
"Raising two kids by myself, I needed to make a change. I was almost 30 years old when I went back to school full-time. I had found I enjoyed working with kids and figured if I got a teaching credential, I could do something I enjoyed and make a decent living for my kids and myself," she added.
"Thank goodness I had friends and family who were very supportive through this long process because there were many challenges along the way: Commuting every day, worries about paying for tuition as well as child care, having money for books as well as groceries at home, late night homework for me after helping the kids with theirs, studying for tests and cooking dinner at the same time. ... We ate lots of macaroni and cheese!"
The super group has one thing in common with Mayberry: Each of them also listed a strong support system starting with the families.
And some of the seniors were in Mayberry's sixth-grade class.
Part of that was learning a poem a week, and in that spirit, Mayberry read Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," and quoted from Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Success."
"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — this is to have succeeded."
SUPER FOUR SENIORS
Samantha Coombs: She plans to attend the University of California, Davis, and major in biological sciences. Her favorite memory at Williams High is cheering at football games.
Kamalpreet Kaur: She hopes to earn an undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz, or the University of the Pacific, and then go on to pharmacy college with an eye on becoming a pharmacist. Her favorite memories at Williams High are the Future Business Leaders of America competitions.
Elizabeth Mendez: She plans to major in biological science at University of California, Davis, then go on to medical school with aspirations of being a physician. Her favorite memories at Williams High are the trips back from games with all of her basketball and softball teammates.
Iris Zepeda Rivera: She plans to study international relations. She only attended Williams High for four semesters. Prior to that she went to school in Amatitan Jalisco, Mexico. Still, she overcame the language barrier to become a member of the 2013 Super Four.
SUPER FIVE JUNIORS
Juanita Cano: She plans to attend a university and aspires to be a surgical assistant. Her favorite memory at Williams High is meeting all the people who helped her improve herself.
Maira Carabeo: She plans to attend a university and aspires to work in the medical field. Her favorite memory at Williams High was her freshman year.
Yazmin Cruz: Plans to major in biological science, preferably at the University of California, Davis. Her favorite memories at Williams High are hanging out with friends and learning new things.
Liliana De Loza: She plans to attend a university to earn a master's degree in psychology or business. Her favorite memory at Williams High is her freshman year, which she said was the easiest and most stress free.
Carolina Mendiola: She plans to study zoology. Her favorite memories at Williams High are competing in basketball, volleyball and softball, and the relationships she built with her teammates.