Wang and Patel top in academics for class of 2023
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The valedictorian for the Copperas Cove High School class of 2023 is 18-year-old Haley Wang. She has attended CCHS for all four years of her secondary education.
While in school, Haley has been a part of HOSA, DECA, and Senior Class Officers, and is Vice President of the senior class.
Outside of school, she participates in dance and taekwondo.
She is graduating with a GPA of 5.19762.
Her involvement in the student clubs and organizations have boosted her during her high school years and provided many opportunities.
“I was a member of HOSA for all four years of high school, (Vice President for my sophomore and junior year, then president and the Area 5 Historian for my senior year). I have also been in DECA since I was a junior. In both of these clubs, I have advanced to international competition during my senior year.
Haley shared about what it feels like to be at the top of her graduating class.
“It feels gratifying to be valedictorian because I have put sweat and tears into my education while balancing other extracurriculars in which I am now able to indulge in the fruits of my labor,” Wang said. “I plan to use my platform to make a difference in other people’s lives through higher education. I have also learned many lessons along the way about life, consistency, and passion which I will take with me later in life as well.
“Since high school is coming to an end, it feels bittersweet, but I am glad to progress in life. This year has been a period of reflection for me. I have been taking the time to appreciate all of the experiences I have had throughout high school, and I am ready to take on whatever lays ahead. I also am incredibly grateful for all of the teachers, faculty, friends, and family who helped me along my journey.”
After graduation, Haley plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin where she will study Finance and Public Health on the Pre-Med track before getting her MBA.
After that, she has her sights set on going to medical school to become an anesthesiologist.
Haley reflected back on her four years at CCHS.
“The most memorable thing about my high school experience having a blast with my friends and meeting like-minded peers at the HOSA State Leadership Conference during my junior year in Galveston.
She likewise looks ahead to leave a mark on the world beyond her collegiate studies.
“My end goal in life is to make a lasting, positive impact on others by helping them medically and financially, especially those that are lower income and people of color.”
This year’s Salutatorian, Shreya Patel, 18, has been a student in CCISD for six years.
Her GPA of 5.18 separates her from Haley by a mere 0.01762 – less than two-hundreths of a point.
Shreya has been a member of HOSA, DECA, Senior Class Officers, NHS, and Student Council.
“Being named salutatorian is an incredible honor and achievement. It feels immensely rewarding to be recognized for my hard work, dedication, and academic success. It also brings a sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing that my efforts have paid off,” she said.
Graduation brings a mixed bag of emotions for Shreya.
“It feels like a mixture of relief, excitement, and bittersweet emotions. It is a significant milestone that marks the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new journey. I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in completing this phase of my education, but also a tinge of nostalgia as I say goodbye to friends, teachers, and familiar routines.
“Overall, for me, it’s a time of reflection, anticipation, and a little bit of trepidation as I embark on the next chapter of my life.”
After graduation, Patel has plans to attend pursue a higher education at The University of Texas at Austin.
“I have not decided what to major in yet, but I’m looking forward to the new challenges and experiences it will bring,” she said.
Looking back on her high school years, Shreya said the most memorable moment of her high school experience was her senior year.
“Senior year encapsulated the essence of my growth, achievements, and new beginnings. It was a time of self-discovery, deep friendships, and a celebration of the journey our class had taken together.
“I made many new friends and strengthened bonds with old ones. Senior year reminded me that while high school might come to an end, the memories and lessons learned would remain with me forever, shaping my path, and reminding me of the incredible experiences that unfolded during this remarkable year.”
She expressed her thanks to those who’ve been with her along the way.
“I would like to express my gratitude to my teachers, friends, and most importantly, my family who have supported and encouraged me throughout my high school journey. Their guidance, belief in my abilities, and unwavering support have been instrumental in my success. I am also thankful for the friendships I have formed and the meaningful connections I have made during these formative years. High school has provided me with a strong foundation for the future, and I am excited about the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead.”