Senior Emily Scarlett named valedictorian


Photo By: Erika Guion

To become valedictorian is not something easily earned and usually comes with a certain underlying sense of renowned prestige, hard work, and determination.

This year’s valedictorian has been awarded to Emily Scarlett, a student who defies what the perceived image of a valedictorian should be.

“You can definitely have a life and still get good grades,” Scarlett said.

Having attended schools within the Judson school district for all of her life, strong bonds were formed with kids she grew up around. It was these bonds that motivated her to become academically competitive in middle school.

This competitive drive started off as a way to one up friends in middle school, but then became something that was permanently instilled in her personality. She continued to challenge herself throughout high school taking Pre- Ap classes and advancing to AP and IB classes

“I really enjoyed IB. I feel like I got a really good education out of it,” Scarlett said.

For Scarlett, becoming valedictorian was something that “occurred naturally”. And whether it be her humble opinion or a blatant statement, there is no doubt that securing her spot as valedictorian took dedication.

“There’s been times when there just seems to be a lot of work, and I stress about it. But I’ve always seemed to get it done. There has definitely been some tough times though,” Scarlett said.

It goes without saying that organization is a key factor in maintaining good grades and although Scarlett does have a system to help her keep track of things, it is nothing special. She has different colored folders for different classes. There’s no extreme routine that she follows to a tee and there’s not a daily planner filled with copious amounts of post-it notes.

Her method is simple, yet effective, and easily do-able.

“Find a system that works for you and stick with it,” Scarlett said. “What helped me a lot was to go home and do my school work first, that way I had time to relax after.”

Another factor that contributed to her success was having a good support system. Whether it be friends, family, or teachers, Scarlett was able to find support from various sources.

“Surround yourself with good people,” Scarlett said. “My IB teachers definitely played a big role because I’ve always had pretty good teachers throughout high school so it’s never been hard to understand the material,” Scarlett said.  

The belief that high school is the most important time of one’s life is a misconception. For many students, the most important time of their life has yet to come.

Scarlett plans to attend the University of Texas at Dallas, where she got a scholarship that pays for her full tuition and study neuroscience.

She believes that the most important time of her life will be when she knows that she has reached her ultimate goal of making a positive impact in the world, no matter how small.