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Class of 2019

Where are they headed?

Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld
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Congratulations to the Class of 2019! Once again, as part of our annual tradition, we asked our graduating neighbors to share their college plans with us. What are they most looking forward to in the next chapter of their lives? What advice would they give their kindergarten selves if they could? And, looking back on their high school years, what was a stand-out memory? 

Ethan Samuels

Ethan Samuels – Amherst College (Senior photo: Barbara Samuels)

Ethan Samuels – The Shlenker School, The Emery/Weiner School 

Ethan Samuels is off to Amherst College and will double major in economics and film and media studies. He’s most looking forward to meeting new people from diverse backgrounds from across the country. His dream would be to become a film director. His favorite high school moment was winning the baseball state championship his sophomore year. “It's a journey that I will carry with me for the rest of my lifetime,” he says. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Grow out the ’fro every once in a while.”

Alexandra Herrera

Alexandra Herrera – Brown University (Senior photo: Jaime Leigh Sonnier, Casa de Camera)

Alexandra Herrera – Annunciation Orthodox School, Episcopal High School 

Alexandra Herrera is headed to Brown University to study biology. In college, she hopes to make new friends from all over the world, get to know her professors, and participate in research and volunteer work. One day, she hopes to attend medical school and complete a residency in dermatology. Her dream is to become a partner in a dermatology group and enjoy life in sunny southern California. Reflecting on high school, she says that seeing herself and her peers experience personal growth and witnessing their journeys since the first day of freshman year is memorable to her. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Never give up. Hard work is what will get you places.”

Cabot Barton

Cabot Barton – University of Mississippi (Senior photo: Sean E. Barton)

Cabot Barton – Presbyterian School, Houston Christian High School 

Cabot Barton is heading to the University of Mississippi and will major in business administration. He’s looking forward to his college years. If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “‘It's good to be as tall as an emperor penguin.’ In kindergarten I was the tallest child in the class, and my teacher gave me that advice to make me feel better about my height. I would tell myself to listen to your teachers more.” 

Eden Lagnado

Eden Lagnado – The University of Texas at Austin (Senior photo: Yves Giot)

Eden Lagnado – Robert M. Beren Academy, Bellaire High School  

Eden Lagnado is headed to The University of Texas at Austin and will major in environmental science. She’s looking forward to moving to Austin, meeting new people, having independence and being part of the UT school spirit and traditions. She hopes to join a sorority and study abroad during college. Her favorite high school memory was being part of BHS’s drill team, the Bellaire Belles, where she “made so many lifelong friends and learned leadership, teamwork, and organizational skills.” Her dream job would be to help improve the environment by becoming an environmental lawyer or consultant. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Enjoy every moment because time flies by.” 

Jill Williams

Jill Williams – Texas State University (Senior photo: Sydney Bloesch)

Jill Williams – Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School 

Jill Williams is heading to Texas State University – The Honors College and will major in international business. She’s looking forward to meeting new friends, enjoying new opportunities and joining a new and diverse community in college. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Don’t overpack your schedule to outdo yourself on resumes and transcripts. Instead, make time for friends and family; the memories are much more worth it.” 

Shaan Sheikh

Shaan Sheikh – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Shaan Sheikh – Sleepy Hollow Elementary School (Illinois), Dundee Middle School (Illinois), Bellaire High School  

Shaan Sheikh is headed to The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to study political science. He would talk to his kindergarten self about patience. “I would have to explain to my younger self to just wait if things aren’t going the way you want them to and, before you know it, things will be better.” He’s most looking forward to college for the opportunity to “use every moment I have doing something that I either like, want to learn, or want to see myself doing.”

Justin Clark

Justin Clark – Texas Tech University (Senior photo: Meredith Flaherty Photography)

Justin Clark – Horn Elementary School and Crossroads School, Crossroads, St. Pius X High School  

Justin Clark is heading to Texas Tech University and will major in history with an emphasis in military history. He’s looking forward to the independence he’ll have in college. His dream job would be to become a curator at a world-renowned museum. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Keep your loved ones closer to you.” His favorite part of high school has been the friends he’s made.

Jared Clark

Jared Clark – Trinity University (Senior photo: Bill Baumeyer)

Jared Clark – Horn Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Bellaire High School 

Jared Clark is headed to Trinity University and will major in business. He’s looking forward to gaining more independence in college. His dream would be to become a pilot in the U.S. Army one day. Reflecting on high school, his favorite memory was camping with the high school mountain bike team. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Try this thing called a triathlon, it's pretty fun...”

Manasi Rungta

Manasi Rungta – Baylor University (Senior photo: Laura Sanz)

Manasi Rungta – Condit Elementary School, The Village School 

Manasi Rungta is headed to Baylor University’s honors program to study pre-med/biology. She’s looking forward to exploring a new place and meeting new people. Her dream job is to become a physician/doctor and make an impact on people's lives. Her favorite moment from high school was waking up in the morning during their Big Bend school trip and seeing that their tent had blown away. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Enjoy every moment.” 

Alison Purcell

Alison Purcell – The University of Texas at Austin (Senior photo: Jordan Scheiner Photography)

Alison Purcell – Condit Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Carnegie Vanguard High School  

Alison Purcell is headed to The University of Texas at Austin; she will be part of the Plan II major and also study biology. She’s excited to broaden her horizons in college in both social and educational aspects. Her dream would be to direct the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Take advantage of nap time while you can … you'll miss it in high school.” 

Parker Sizemore

Parker Sizemore – The University of Texas at San Antonio (Senior photo: Meredith Flaherty Photography)

Parker Sizemore – Horn Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Bellaire High School 

Parker Sizemore is heading to The University of Texas at San Antonio to study nutritional science. She’s looking forward to studying what she loves and being in a new environment. Her dream would be to start her own health food brand or work for Nike. During high school, she was involved in the Bellaire cheer program for all four years, “an amazing experience,” she says. One of her most memorable high school experiences has been cheering at the football games. If she could, she’d advise her younger self not to worry so much about what other kids say. “Always go for your dreams because they can easily become your reality with enough work,” she would say. 

Celia Houston

Celia Houston – United States Coast Guard Academy (Senior photo: Katherine Begala)

Celia Houston – Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School 

Celia Houston is headed to the United States Coast Guard Academy to study marine engineering and naval architecture. She says: “I have gone to a very tight and small-knit school my whole life. For better or for worse, we know everything about each other. I am going to miss everyone, but I am very excited to make new friends and live outside of Houston.” Her dream would be to go to sea on a Coast Guard cutter or work search and rescue in the Northeast. She hopes to help make the maritime industry more eco-friendly and eco-efficient. Her favorite high school moment was when the girl's cross-country team missed its start at state and ended up beating multiple teams. If she could, she’d advise her kindergarten self to take as many naps as possible. 

Aidan Clark

Aidan Clark – The University of Mississippi (Senior photo: Sarah Rose Photography)

Aidan Clark – Horn Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, St. Thomas High School  

Aidan Clark is off to The University of Mississippi and will major in either philosophy or biology. He’s excited to experience new things and meet new people at Ole Miss. His dream would be to become a doctor, specifically a plastic surgeon. Reflecting on high school, he says, “Freshman year at St. Thomas was a lot of fun, and that's where I learned what the brotherhood was all about.” If he could, he’d remind his kindergarten self: “Don't be so hard on yourself!” 

Connor McGovern

Connor McGovern – University of Missouri (Senior photo: Freeman Photography)

Connor McGovern – St. Martha Catholic School, St. Thomas High School  

Connor McGovern is heading to the University of Missouri to study journalism. He’s looking forward to getting involved in multiple student media organizations and hopes to become MVP of several intramural sports teams. His dream job is being an editor for one of the biggest print publications in the country. His favorite moment from high school was seeing his first article published on the front page of the school newspaper. If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself." 

Kelly Thomas

Kelly Thomas – Northeastern University (Senior photo: Megan Fisher)

Kelly Thomas – Veritas Christian Academy, St. Agnes Academy 

Kelly Thomas is heading to Northeastern University to study journalism. She’s looking forward to exploring her interests in a new environment and the opportunity to grow as a person. “My dream job is to be a globetrotting journalist, documenting the world and sharing it with others in hopes of promoting its preservation,” she says. Her favorite high school moment was teaching fifth graders in Guatemala City about the world’s climates while on a service trip with St. Agnes students. If she could, she’d tell her younger self to cherish nap time.

Sarah Tomlinson

Sarah Tomlinson – University of St. Thomas (Senior photo: Elegant Portraits by Kian)

Sarah Tomlinson – Condit Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Gateway Academy  

Sarah Tomlinson is off to the University of St. Thomas to study studio arts. She’s excited to make new friends and learn about a subject that she’s interested in pursuing. Her dream has always been to be a designer, “an inventor of sorts, designing things that could revolutionize the modern world and help everyone who needs it. Art means a lot to me, and I want to do something that can help the world, so not only would I be designing things for use, I would also be designing things for style,” she says. Her favorite moment from high school was being the lead in her school’s rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If she could, she’d advise her younger self to go after her dreams. 

Anna Sotiriades

Anna Sotiriades – Trinity University

Anna Sotiriades – Condit Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Bellaire High School  

Anna Sotiriades is headed to Trinity University to study biology. She’s looking forward to being in a new environment, meeting new people and studying what she’s passionate about. Her dream job is to become a physician’s assistant. Her favorite high school moment is when she made the Bellaire Belles dance team. “Ever since I joined the team I have made so many wonderful and amazing friends and shared so many memories with them that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” she says. If she could, she’d tell her younger self: “Color outside the lines, run around the playground at recess, be yourself, be kind” and to enjoy time with friends and family. 

Megan Garney

Megan Garney – University of Arkansas

Megan Garney – St. Thomas More Parish School, Incarnate Word Academy 

Megan Garney is headed to the University of Arkansas, Honors College to study nursing. Her dream is to be a nurse practitioner and to also be a traveling nurse; she wants to explore the world while doing something she loves. She’s looking forward to meeting new people, continuing her studies in college and experiencing new things in her new home. Her favorite high school memory is Foundation Day where the students enjoy a school-wide celebration honoring the founder of the school. If she could, she’d advise herself to have fun and make memories. “My school years moved very fast. I would tell my kindergarten self to enjoy every moment like it would be your last.”

Allison Clark

Allison Clark – The University of Texas at Austin (Senior photo: Annette Boatwright)

Allison Clark – St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, St. Agnes Academy 

Allison Clark is off to The University of Texas at Austin and will major in the multidisciplinary honors Plan II program. In college, she’s looking forward to independence and the close-knit community offered by Plan II. Allison would like to be involved with creative community outreach and change. She wants a job that will “change policy, spread knowledge amongst community members and create change in the world that we live in,” such as an immigration lawyer or the head of a nonprofit focused on community outreach. Her favorite high school moment was her annual Big Sis reveal day during Fish Week. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “I know that those ant beds look appealing, but please do not kick them over during recess. You could save yourself from a lot of pain.” 

Claire Betzer

Claire Betzer – Dartmouth College (Senior photo: Leina Betzer)

Claire Betzer – Condit Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Sharpstown International School  

Claire Betzer is heading to Dartmouth College and will major in international relations/government. She’s looking forward to joining programs within the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Dickey Center for International Understanding to hone her interests in international politics and cultures. She says she’s also “excited to break out my collection of winter sweaters, which don't seem to get much wear in Houston.” Her dream job would be to become a U.S. diplomat. Her favorite moment during her high school years was introducing Ambassador Thomas Pickering during the World Affairs Council's 21st Jesse H. Jones Award Luncheon. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.” 

Arthur Levy

Arthur Levy – The University of Texas at Austin (Kid photo: Charla Wood; Senior photo: Morgan Lynn Razi)

Arthur Levy – Robert M. Beren Academy, The Emery/Weiner School 

Arthur Levy is headed to The University of Texas at Austin to study public health. He’ll be part of the Health Science Scholar program. He’s not sure of a specific dream job, but he’s interested in oncology. He’s looking forward to gaining more independence in college and living with a friend. His favorite moment from high school was looking around and seeing all of his friends wearing their college T-shirts. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “The hard work, stress and anxiety that you will put yourself through is definitely worth it. You will graduate high school extremely proud of your transcript and accomplishments.” 

Carson Traylor

Carson Traylor – University of Houston

Carson Traylor – Longfellow Elementary School, Johnston Middle School, Alexander-Smith Academy 

Carson Traylor is heading to the University of Houston to study business management. He’s looking forward to meeting new people and forming life-long relationships. He says, “Going to a large university in my hometown allows me to go into school already having friends on campus, but also allows [me to] make several new friends.” He’s especially excited to work with students in the School of Business. His dream is to own his own vintage resale shop one day. If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “Always strive to be your own boss.” 

Hunter McConn

Hunter McConn – Austin Community College (Senior photo: Vic Clark)

Hunter McConn – West University Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Lamar High School 

Hunter McConn is headed to Austin Community College and will major in liberal arts. He’s looking forward to meeting new people in college. His dream job would be to become a sports agent. He doesn’t have a specific favorite moment from high school but enjoyed meeting people who are now his best friends. If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “Make sure to stay on top of your work at all times.” 

Sydney McConn

Sydney McConn – The University of Texas at Austin (Senior photo: Vic Clark)

Sydney McConn – West University Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Lamar High School 

Sydney McConn is heading to The University of Texas at Austin. She’s undecided on her major but is looking forward to meeting new people and making lifelong friends in college. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Hard work really does pay off.” 

Sammy Gerber

Sammy Gerber – Rhodes College (Senior photo: lawellphoto.com)

Sammy Gerber – River Oaks Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, The Emery/Weiner School 

Sammy Gerber is off to Rhodes College to study environmental science. He’s looking forward to being independent and living in a new city. If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “Learn how to balance work and fun.”

Caroline Moseley

Caroline Moseley – Northwestern University (Senior photo: Margaret Rotan Photography)

Caroline Moseley – The Kinkaid School  

Caroline Moseley is off to Northwestern University and will major in theater and pre-med. She is excited to make new friends and is looking forward to gaining a new independence in college. Her dream job is to be a dermatologist or pediatrician. “I think the skills that theater teaches you – communicating ideas, empathy, conveying emotions and synthesizing ideas – are actually essential to being a good physician. One day I hope to apply my background in theater to some sort of healthcare position!” If she could, she’d advise her younger self to get outside and play in the sun. “As you get older, you get to spend less and less time outside in the fresh air and you spend more working indoors.” 

Crystal Wang

Crystal Wang – Harvard University (Senior photo: Bumble Photography)

Crystal Wang – Brookwood Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Memorial High School  

Crystal Wang is headed to Harvard University to study economics/public policy. She’s most looking forward to meeting other students with similar interests and diverse backgrounds and making long-lasting connections. Her dream would be to become a social entrepreneur; she wants to run her own company that “touches lives and makes positive change in society.” If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “"It's not that serious" and says, “I was a total drama queen in kindergarten, and made a big deal out of every interaction or inconvenience I had. Yeah, I could've taken a chill pill because life was only about to get harder.” Reflecting on high school, running for student council president her freshman year was one of the best moments. 

Nicolas Feder

Nicolas Feder – Georgetown University (Senior photo: Cristina Didoné)

Nicolas Feder – St. Francis Episcopal Day School, The Awty International School  

Nicolas Feder is heading to Georgetown University and will study in the School of Foreign Service. He’s looking forward to interning in DC to help decide on a career path; he’s planning to apply for political internships. His dream job would be director of the IMF or World Bank, overseeing development projects in different parts of the world. He would like to “see to decreasing corruption in many of these countries,” he says. His favorite high school moment was during the Awty International Festival when the senior class carries in flags from all the countries the student body represents. He was proud to carry the Dominican Republic flag this year. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self not to worry about making mistakes “because the best way to learn and mature in life is reflecting on the mistakes you make.”

Isabella Terrazas

Isabella Terrazas – Stanford University (Senior photo: Nicolas Terrazas)

Isabella Terrazas – Nottingham Elementary School, Spring Forest Middle School, Stratford High School 

Isabella Terrazas is headed to Stanford University to study bioengineering and theater. She says she’s thrilled to live in a brand-new environment and is excited to meet amazing people in college. Her dream would be to become a surgeon. Her favorite high school moment was the 6 a.m. pep rally for the Memorial game her sophomore year and winning that night. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Don't listen to any of the haters!” 

Mariah Mason

Mariah Mason – Mississippi State University (Senior photo: Joanna Brandt)

Mariah Mason – Memorial Drive Elementary School, Spring Branch Middle School, St. Pius X High School  

Mariah Mason is heading to Mississippi State University to study agribusiness. She’s looking forward to meeting new people in college and being part of the community. Her dream would be to breed Friesian sport horses one day. Her favorite high school moment was going to State her freshman year for swimming. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Enjoy the journey.” 

Cameron Cooley

Cameron Cooley – University of Mississippi (Senior photo: Margaret Rotan Photography)

Cameron Cooley – Bunker Hill Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Memorial High School 

Cameron Cooley is off to the University of Mississippi and will major in photojournalism. She’s looking forward to being independent and meeting new people. She’s also looking forward to taking classes to strengthen her skills in fashion photography. One day, she hopes to work for a large fashion house as a photographer. Her favorite high school moment was when MHS beat Stratford High School’s football team. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self not to stress as much. “You can only be who you are meant to be, so putting added pressure on yourself does you no good,” she’d say.

Damian Patronella

Damian Patronella – Texas Tech University (Senior photo: Freeman Photography)

Damian Patronella – St. Michael Catholic School, St. Thomas High School 

Damian Patronella is headed to Texas Tech University and will major in business. He’s looking forward to making new friends, getting away from comfortable surroundings and taking on more responsibility. One day, he’d like to be CEO of a major corporation. If he could, he’d advise his younger self to get a good night’s sleep and pay more attention in class. 

Ashleigh Ordeneaux

Ashleigh Ordeneaux – Schreiner University (Senior photo: Elegant Portraits by Kian)

Ashleigh Ordeneaux – Cypress Christian School, The Briarwood School 

Ashleigh Ordeneaux is heading to Schreiner University and will major in nursing. She’s looking forward to living on her own in college. Her dream job would be working at Texas Children’s Hospital as an ER nurse. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Don’t give up so easily.” 

Susan Soh

Susan Soh – University of Mississippi (Senior photo: Ann Becker)

Susan Soh – Hunters Creek Elementary School, Spring Branch Middle School, Memorial High School 

Susan Soh is heading to the University of Mississippi and will be part of the Honors College. She plans to major in international studies, business and Chinese. She’s looking forward to meeting people from different backgrounds in college. She dreams of working internationally one day, although she isn’t sure yet how or where. Her favorite high school memory was during junior year, when “we used the tarp covering the softball field as a slip and slide. It was the perfect release after a day of multiple tests!”

Isabel Vierra

Isabel Vierra – Villanova University (Senior photo: Emily Boone Photography)

Isabel Vierra – Wilchester Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School  

Isabel Vierra is headed to Villanova University and will major in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. She’s excited to be in a new place with new people and new experiences with new memories to make. “I feel like I'm about to go on vacation, but that vacation is for a little longer than two weeks!” She is looking forward to making friends who will become like family. Her dream job would be a behavioral profiler for the FBI (as in the popular TV show Criminal Minds, she says). She’s intrigued by the human brain, and she’s excited to delve into the subject in college. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self to embrace it all – the good and the bad – and that it’ll all lead to a bright future, starting with moving across the country to go to college.

Annie Goss

Annie Goss – Northwestern University (Senior photo: Huyen Tran)

Annie Goss – Wilchester Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School 

Annie Goss is off to Northwestern University to study human development and psychological studies. She’s excited to meet new people, get involved in new things and experience a new city and environment. Her dream job would be an ice cream taste tester, and, if she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self to appreciate nap time while you have it. Her favorite high school moment was getting to see the musical she directed, Newsies, get a standing ovation during a dance number on closing night. “Everyone worked so hard, and it was such a special moment. The best part was sharing it with some of the best people I will ever meet.” 

Lila Gutman

Lila Gutman – Arizona State University

Lila Gutman – The Briarwood School  

Lila Gutman is heading to Arizona State University to study nursing. She’s looking forward to expanding her knowledge and exploring the career of nursing. Her dream is to work in a hospital as an ER nurse. “I want to be where the action is. I want to save lives and help people who are in need. I want to help people no matter what injury or illness they have,” she says. Her favorite high school memory was being part of the girls relay team that made it to state, setting the school record. If she could, she’d advise her kindergarten self to be patient and prepared for whatever life throws at you. “Most of all, keep looking forward,” she’d say. 

Andrew “Gray” Campbell

Andrew “Gray” Campbell – Baylor University

Andrew “Gray” Campbell – Meadow Wood Elementary School, Spring Forest Middle School, Stratford High School 

Andrew “Gray” Campbell is headed to Baylor University to study music/composition. If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “Start theater sooner.” He’s most looking forward to studying music in college, and he dreams of performing on Broadway one day. His favorite moment from high school was performing “The World Will Know" from Newsies on closing night.

Mackenzie Kim

Mackenzie Kim – Baylor University (Senior photo: Taryn Melgoza)

Mackenzie Kim – Veritas Christian Academy, Second Baptist School  

Mackenzie Kim is off to Baylor University to study business. She’s most looking forward to meeting new people and transitioning into a new atmosphere. She would like to work in business one day and make an impact on the lives of those in her community. Her favorite moments from high school were cheering at the football games on Friday nights. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Keep on dreaming and thinking big.” 

Megan Hale

Megan Hale – Baylor University (Senior photo: Chrissy Burdsall)

Megan Hale – homeschool 

Megan Hale is heading to Baylor University. She’s pursuing the pre-med path with a major in health science studies and is looking forward to being near her brother, who will be a junior at Baylor. She can’t wait to run the Baylor Line at football games. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Play with your dolls, run through the sprinklers, pick pretty flowers, laugh at every joke, and smile every day. Life is simple when you are young, and it doesn’t last forever! Take advantage of the now and love those around you the best way you can.” Her dream is to become a cardiologist. Her favorite memory from high school was traveling to Israel and Jordan with her dad to finish her religious history class with an up-close view at what she’d been learning about all year long. “Overseas field trips are just one of the perks of being homeschooled!” she says.

Dennis Mueller

Dennis Mueller – University of Stavanger (Senior photo: Maya Moustafa)

Dennis Mueller – Vardeneset Skole (Norway), The Village School  

Dennis Mueller is heading to the University of Stavanger (Norway) to study Travel Life Leadership. He’s looking forward to using practical life skills and meeting new friends. His dream job is to become a manager for a hotel firm, travel the world and experience life in different cultures. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self to simply listen and not be distracted. His favorite high school memories include winning the TAPPS state championship in soccer as a freshman and winning the Unicorn Award from Wharton and The Village School for the best $1 billion innovation.

Sophie Newell

Sophie Newell – Drexel University (Senior photo: Paige McInturff Photography)

Sophie Newell – Second Baptist School 

Sophie Newell is headed to Drexel University and will major in international business. She’s excited about “the endless possibilities of dorm living, study abroad, and campus traditions.” Her dream job would include traveling around the world, having face-to-face communication and utilizing her Chinese speaking abilities within the business world. Her favorite high school moment was when she was named the Bob Rollins Swimmer of the Meet during her senior year at the TAPPS state swimming championship – the best female swimmer out of the meet. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Don't run if you have Crocs on!”

Matthew Riedel

Matthew Riedel – Vanderbilt University (Senior photo: Fred Keinz)

Matthew Riedel – Wilchester Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School 

Matthew Riedel is headed to Vanderbilt University and will major in economics. He’s looking forward to the opportunity to enjoy a new experience and start a new chapter in his life. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Always believe in yourself.”

Jenna Bobbora

Jenna Bobbora – Texas Christian University (Senior photo: Claire McAdams Photography)

Jenna Bobbora – St. Francis Episcopal Day School/Hunters Creek Elementary School, Second Baptist School 

Jenna Bobbora is headed to Texas Christian University and will major in musical theater. She’s looking forward to being independent, being able to take classes that interest her and TCU athletics. Her dream would be to perform on Broadway one day. Her favorite moments from high school included performing in shows with her friends as well as enjoying football games. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self to enjoy the time you have with your friends and “be yourself!” 

Natalia Maria Martin De Valmaseda

Natalia Maria Martin De Valmaseda – Universidad Francisco De Vitoria (Senior photo: Maya Moustafa)

Natalia Maria Martin De Valmaseda – Lord Roberts Elementary School (Vancouver), Sentinel Secondary School (Vancouver), The Village School 

Natalia Maria Martin De Valmaseda is heading to the Universidad Francisco De Vitoria in Madrid, Spain, to study medicine. Her dream is to become a doctor in a specialty that will help others. She wants to be able to help those with little access to medical services by volunteering with organizations. In college, she’s looking forward to meeting new people and studying what she’s interested in. Her favorite moments from high school were being with her friends in class, and she particularly loved spending time with her friends during her senior trip. 

Whitney Thode

Whitney Thode – Baylor University (Senior photo: Cindy Crofford)

Whitney Thode – Second Baptist School, Southwest Christian School (Fort Worth), Second Baptist School 

Whitney Thode is heading to Baylor University, and she’ll be part of the Business Fellows program, majoring in biology, Spanish and business on the pre-med track. Her dream job would be working in pediatrics to combine her love for people, kids, science and service. “Being on Second Baptist Church's JUMP Team the past four years, I have seen my love for kids manifest and flourish, so I believe pediatrics would be right up my alley!” she says. Her favorite high school memory was when she and her friends spent senior year Spring Break together on a cruise with their moms (specifically, karaoke night on the cruise). If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self to fill each day with things that bring joy while being yourself. 

Mees McCoy Franssen

Mees Franssen – University of Toronto

Mees Franssen – Piasau School (Malaysia), Dubai British School (Dubai), British International School of Houston 

Mees McCoy Franssen is heading to the University of Toronto to study mechanical engineering. Mees is looking forward to immersing himself in the university life – going to lectures, extracurriculars, and more. “I've been looking forward to University for as long as I can remember. I'm just thankful for the fact I get to study what I've always dreamed of,” he says. He’s passionate about sustainable agriculture, especially hydroponics, and hopes to help introduce ideas to subsistence farmers in Africa to aid with the development of rural communities. His favorite high school moment was when his grade took a trip to Tanzania and did volunteer work; it was “one that will stick with me for the rest of my life.” If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “Manage your tasks. You can do it all but not all at once.” 

Esmé Conkright

Esmé Conkright – Colorado School of Mines (Senior photo: Avery Norman)

Esmé Conkright – Meadow Wood Elementary School, Spring Forest Middle School, Stratford High School 

Esmé Conkright is headed to the Colorado School of Mines to study chemical engineering. She’s looking forward to focusing on subjects that interest her, plus gaining independence. Her dream job “involves chemical engineering, business, traveling, and being the boss. Perhaps I create a company that sells and transports LNG between countries,” she says. Reflecting on high school, she says, aside from school accomplishments and activities involving the Academy of Science and Engineering, she loved all the school dances. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self to give everyone a chance. 

Katherine Munson

Katherine Munson – Texas Tech University (Senior photo: Carlino’s Photography)

Katherine Munson – Walker Station Elementary, The Briarwood School 

Katherine Munson is heading to Texas Tech University. She’s undeclared on her major, but her dream is to help save the planet from climate change and help others. She’s looking forward to gaining independence in college. One of her favorite high school moments was during the Egg Drop Project in physics. Her project ultimately went well, and “I felt like I conquered something and felt really proud about it,” she said. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Whatever problems you may face, know that it will end.” 

Jordan Killinger

Jordan Killinger – Rice University (Senior photo: Steve Simpson Photography)

Jordan Killinger – Epiphany Lutheran School, Lutheran High North  

Jordan Killinger is heading to Rice University to study English and biology. She’s excited to make new friends “on this next journey in my life!” She hopes to be a geneticist, specializing in research or gene therapy. Her ultimate goal would be to eliminate all genetic diseases. Her favorite memories from high school are from musical season at Lutheran High North. If she could, she’d tell her younger self: "Just be your kind, happy, beautiful self! Always care for others, because you never know when someone could be hurting. Have fun and live your life in the moment, and don't forget to be loving, be yourself, and be a light for others!"

Fatema Alshehhi

Fatema Alshehhi – American University of Sharjah

Fatema Alshehhi – Alafaq School (Abu Dhabi), Al Reem School (Abu Dhabi), Alexander-Smith Academy 

Fatema Alshehhi is heading to American University of Sharjah in Dubai and will study architecture. She’s excited to take classes, gain new experiences, make new friends and reunite with old friends she hasn’t seen in four years. Since she was in elementary school, her dream has been to become an architect. Architecture isn’t a job of buildings and projects, she says; rather, it’s a lifestyle. “I enjoy design and solving problems that open my eyes and brain to be creative,” she says. Her favorite high school memories include the “senior lineup” and funny moments with friends. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self that everything happens for a reason and to trust yourself. 

Alex Frumovitz

Alex Frumovitz – University of Pennsylvania (Senior photo: lawellphoto.com)

Alex Frumovitz – The Kinkaid School  

Alex Frumovitz is headed to the University of Pennsylvania, where his parents met as college freshmen. He’s undecided on his major but is excited to meet new people and explore a new city. As far as a dream job? He says, “Now that being a professional baseball player is looking a little less realistic than it used to be, perhaps a surgeon.” And if he could give his kindergarten self a piece of advice, he’d say: “Training to win the fourth-grade Field Day sack race starts now.” 

Lizzie Wiesen

Lizzie Wiesen – The University of Texas at Austin (Senior photo: Marlo Wise Photography)

Lizzie Wiesen – Second Baptist School 

Lizzie Wiesen is headed to The University of Texas at Austin and will major in public relations. She’s excited for the freedom and for something new. Her favorite moment from high school was cheering on the sidelines. “I have been a cheerleader for five years, and I just love hyping up the student body. I am a very gregarious person, so anything involving social events is my favorite thing!” she says. She dreams of being a mom one day and raising her future children. She’d also love to be an event coordinator or an elementary school teacher. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Enjoy every moment! Your time living with your parents and family flies by. Also, don't put your identity in what others think of you. Be your true self! That is when you will be the happiest.” 

Eli Maierson

Eli Maierson – Amherst College (Senior photo: Mark Katz)

Eli Maierson – River Oaks Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, St. John’s School  

Eli Maierson is heading to Amherst College and will major in English. He’s looking forward to taking interesting classes and making new friends in college. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Never stop reading!”

Milan Crespo

Milan Crespo – Kenyon College (Senior photo: Ashkan Image Photography)

Milan Crespo – Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart  

Milan Crespo is heading to Kenyon College and will major in economics/English. If she could, she’d tell her younger self: “Listen to your parents.” In college, she’s looking forward to the opportunity for personal growth, and she’s excited to focus her studies on specific interests. Her dream is to become a handwriting analyst, a hobby of hers “because you get a psychological assessment of a person by certain characteristics within their writing style.” Her favorite part of high school was the independence she gained from the moment she learned to drive to managing her own schedule with school and extracurricular activities, which felt empowering to her. 

Nicole and Michelle Mut

Nicole and Michelle Mut – Washington University in St. Louis (Photos: Elaine Matte Mut)

Nicole and Michelle Mut – Poe Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, Lamar High School 

Nicole and Michelle Mut are both headed to Washington University in St. Louis. Nicole will major in engineering, and Michelle will study biology on a pre-med track. Nicole (at right in senior photo) is looking forward to independence and exploring who she will become, and Michelle (at left in senior photo) is excited to take classes that she’s truly interested in and meet new people. Nicole’s dream job is “to be an engineer that furthers the field of renewable energy. I am also interested in entrepreneurship. My main goal is to create positive impact,” she says. Michelle would love to become a neurosurgeon. Nicole says some of her favorite high school moments were leading NHS meetings. Michelle’s favorite moment was dancing with her friends at prom. Nicole (at left in kindergarten photo) would advise her younger self: “Always pursue what you love!” Michelle (at right in kindergarten photo) would tell her younger self: “Find a balance between work and play!” 

Claire Theroux

Claire Theroux – San Diego State University (Senior photo: Emma Wiederhoeft)

Claire Theroux – Incarnation – St. James (New Jersey), Villa Victoria Academy (New Jersey), Incarnate Word Academy  

Claire Theroux is heading to San Diego State University to study business management. She’s looking forward to taking classes that are focused on what she’s interested in pursuing. Her favorite high school moment was spirit week during her freshman year when they had a water bottle flip challenge; she loved participating and hearing her classmates cheering her on. If she could, she’d tell her younger self to take advantage of nap time. 

Elyse Pedrick

Elyse Pedrick – Wake Forest University (Senior photo: Cindy Crofford)

Elyse Pedrick – Annunciation Orthodox School, Episcopal High School 

Elyse Pedrick is headed to Wake Forest University to study business. She’s looking forward to meeting new people and discovering new passions. Moving to a place with all four seasons is a bonus, she says. Her dream job would be to become a behavioral analyst at the FBI. Her favorite moment from high school was her first-ever dance concert and seeing all her friends there to support her. If she could, she’d remind her kindergarten self: “Enjoy every moment and keep beating to your own drum. Always follow your heart and don't sweat the little things. Also temporary hair dye is never that temporary.” 

Andrew Duong

Andrew Duong – Trinity University (Senior photo: Kurchi Basu)

Andrew Duong – West University Elementary School, Pershing Middle School, St. John’s School 

Andrew Duong is headed to Trinity University to study biology. He’s looking forward to meeting new people who come from different areas. He hopes to participate in Ultimate Frisbee, intramural sports and other clubs. His dream job would be to become a sports medicine doctor for the Texans or Rockets. Andrew’s favorite high school memory was senior prom. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Just have fun. Enjoy every moment with friends and family because you're going to be old before you know it. Have fun during recess, cherish nap time, and appreciate everything you have.” 

Charlie Vaquero

Charlie Vaquero – United States Military Academy at West Point

Charlie Vaquero – St. Michael Catholic School, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

Charlie Vaquero is heading to the United States Military Academy at West Point and will study defense and strategic studies. He’s looking forward to meeting the other students at West Point. “I look forward to joining a tradition of great leaders and excellent Americans,” he says. If he could, he’d advise his kindergarten self to read a lot of books. He says he’s known from a young age that he wanted to be in the military, hopefully an Army Special Forces Officer. As a child, he would often draw jets, tanks and soldiers. “I want to attend West Point over a traditional university because of my passion for military service. I also value the great emphasis on leadership and ethics, and the importance of honing the mind, body, and spirit of the individual.” 

Caroline Burnett

Caroline Burnett – Northwestern University (Senior photo: Natural Expressions)

Caroline Burnett – West University Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, St. John’s School  

Caroline Burnett is headed to Northwestern University to study international relations. She’s looking forward to meeting new people, living in a new part of the country where there are four distinct seasons, exploring a new city and living on her own. She loves to travel and speak French and hopes to combine the two into a career. As a junior, she served as a counselor on the eighth-grade class trip to Big Bend National Park and counts that experience as one of her favorites. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Enjoy the naps!”

Catherine Cuthrell

Catherine Cuthrell – St. Edward’s University (Senior photo: Peter Cuthrell)

Catherine Cuthrell – Saints Peter and Paul School (Calif.), Saint Catherine’s Montessori, Incarnate Word Academy

Catherine Cuthrell is heading to St. Edward’s University to study forensic science. She’s looking forward to following her passions and facing new challenges in college and hopes to build strong character as an individual. She hopes to work for the FBI because she is passionate about serving others and wants to make the world a better place through civic duty in the community. If she could, she’d reassure her younger self: “Someday you’ll look back and be grateful that everything happened the way it did.” 

Editor’s note: Check out – and contribute to, if you haven’t yet – our annual database of college-bound Buzz seniors. Additionally, read about some of the teachers who inspired these graduates along the way.

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