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Class of 2017 Top 10 Graduates

San Benito High School
Class of 2017 Top 10 Graduates

1_LarisaMarieGarciaLarisa Marie Garcia
Valedictorian

Larisa Marie Garcia, the daughter of Lisa and Lee Garcia, is this year’s Valedictorian.
Larisa played Varsity volleyball all four years of high school and was awarded the District 32-6A Libero of the Year and 1st Team All-Valley honor as a senior.
In addition to sports, she was involved in many clubs where she served as Vice President of the National Technical Honor Society, Chairman of the National Honor Society, and a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Rho Kappa, and the Science National Honor Society.
Larisa will be attending the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley to complete her basics. She then plans on transferring to the University of Houston where she will obtain her doctor of optometry degree to become an optometrist.

2_IleenJadeMontemayorIleen Jade Montemayor
Salutatorian

Ileen Jade Montemayor, the daughter of Carlos and Maria Montemayor, is this year’s Salutatorian.
Ileen Jade’s favorite subject is Advanced Placement (AP) Biology. She enjoys reading and spending time with family, friends, and animals. She is involved in several community service clubs, currently serving as the President of Leo Club, the Parliamentarian of Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, and the Treasurer of the National Science Honor Society, a member of Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society. She also serves as the Secretary of Business Professionals of America: Chapter 2, where she advanced to the national level in the Legal Office Procedures competition. She is a certified income tax preparer for low-income families with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) organization.
She has been named a National Hispanic Scholar as well as an AP Scholar, having passed the AP Spanish, U.S. History, and English tests.
Ileen Jade has earned 48 college credit hours through dual enrollment classes and over 24 college credit hours through AP exams. She is also a Superintendent’s Hi-Five honoree, having remained in the top 5 percent of her class each semester since her freshman year. In her spare time, she helps with community and volunteer work.
She plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio as a Top Scholar on a full-ride scholarship worth over $110,000, which will also include study-abroad opportunities. She plans to triple-major in Politics and Law, Political Science, and Business. Her goals are to attend a law school, earn her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree (J.D.), and open up her own law firm to help people in the Rio Grande Valley. She plans to specialize in areas such as immigration law, real-estate law, defense law, tax law, family law, and more.

3_JuanCarlosSosaHernandezJuan Carlos Sosa Hernandez
Third Ranking Student

Juan Carlos Sosa Hernandez, the son of Carlos Rene Sosa and Rosa Icela Sosa, is the third ranked graduating student.
Juan Carlos plans to attend Stanford University in California on a near full-ride scholarship and study Electrical and Computer Sciences in order to obtain a doctorate degree. After that, he plans to do some research with Robotics and eventually continue working with the actual production of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). He enjoys reading, programming, playing chess and the saxophone, and learning new things, all of which he hope will remain with him in the future. Throughout high school, he took numerous AP and dual-enrollment classes, accumulating plenty of college hours via both college classes and AP tests in Spanish, English, Physics, World History, European History, and Art History.

4_ChristopherEliGuerreroChristopher Eli Guerrero
Fourth Ranking Student

Christopher Eli Guerrero, the son of Araceli Guerrero and Sarita Villarreal, is the fourth ranked graduating student.
Christopher Eli is currently a member of community service clubs such as Leo Club and is also the Treasurer of Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society. He also served as a member of VITA, becoming tax certified in order to provide free income tax preparations for low-income families in the community.
He plans on attending the University of Texas at Austin to major as an engineering major. He received the Presidential Scholars Award, worth $20,000 and will be graduating with approximately 38 college hours. He passed the AP Statistics exam. His favorite subjects include Mathematics and Chemistry, and he enjoys playing ping-pong. He is a Superintendent’s Hi-Five honoree, earning that distinction for remaining in the top 5 percent of his class since his freshman year.

5_JoseLuisRiveraJrJose Luis Rivera, Jr.
Fifth Ranking Student

Jose Luis Rivera, Jr., the son of Jose Luis Rivera and Herminia Rivera, is the fifth ranked graduating student.
Jose Luis has enlisted in the United States Navy with a contract guaranteeing admission into its nuclear program with a $12,000 enlistment bonus. He has amassed over 54 college hours throughout high school. He has held leadership positions such as the 2016-2017 Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) Operations Officer, Academic Officer, Academic Team Captain, Honor Guard Commander and Robotics Co-Captain. He has received awards such as the Honor Cadet ribbon, Order of Daedalians Award, and the American Legion Award.
He has received awards such as AP Scholar with Honor, KRGV’s Channel 5 Student of the Week, National Hispanic Scholar, and National Merit Commended Student. He is also a member of several honor societies such as Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society and Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society.
His hobbies include reading, learning, and playing video games. For three years during his high school experience, he was a member of San Benito High School Band’s color-guard and held leadership positions such as flag officer his sophomore year. He plans on finishing in the top 10 percent of Nuclear Power School (“nuke school”) and hopefully chosen to serve aboard a United States Navy Nuclear Submarine.

6_ElizabethHernandezMedinaElizabeth Hernandez-Medina
Sixth Ranking Student

Elizabeth Hernandez-Medina, daughter of Tereso Hernandez and Maria H. Hernandez, is the sixth ranked graduating student.
Elizabeth plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin and major in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and minor in Korean. While in college, she plans to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea.
She was involved in multiple clubs, including Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Business Professionals of America, Health Occupations Students of American (HOSA), VITA, and tennis. For BPA, she participated in a competition for Medical Office Assisting, earning second place in Area and fifth place in State. She competed at Nationals in May. While in HOSA, she competed in the HOSA Bowl in a team, where she and her teammates received third place in regionals, fourth place in Area, and participated in the state competition. She played tennis since her freshmen year, earning many trophies as a Varsity player; she still continues playing tennis on her spare time. She enjoys watching foreign television shows in order to pick up other languages, as well as read books and enjoys practicing her penmanship in a difference language (Hangul).
After college, she plans to attend medical school where she plans to study and become a pediatric cardiac surgeon. After working for a few years in the field, she plans to open up her own practice and eventually become a part of the non-profit organization, Doctors Without Borders.

7_DanielaIsabelLopezDaniela Isabel Lopez
Seventh Ranking Student

Daniela Isabel Lopez, the granddaughter of Ella Cano, is the seventh ranked graduating student.
Daniela Isabel is a National Advanced Placement Scholar, a Lower Valley Cotillion Club debutante, a Hi-5 honoree, the vice president of the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, the secretary of the National Honor Society, a member of the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society, and a four-year varsity soccer player. She has also served with clubs such as the Health Occupations Students of America, Future Farmers of America, Spanish Club, and Yearbook.
She was awarded a $20,000 scholarship from The University of Texas at Austin and was accepted into the Freshman Initiative Research Program. She will be graduating from high school with a total of 70 college credit hours and plans on pursuing a major in Biology and minor in French while at UT-Austin. She wants to become an anesthesiologist and eventually work with Doctors Without Borders.

8_AngelaRoseNunezAngela Rose Nuñez
Eighth Ranking Student

Angela Rose Nuñez, the daughter of Sergio and Yvonne Q. Nuñez, is the eighth ranked graduating student.
Angela Rose plays softball for the Lady Hounds, but also enjoys playing basketball, where she was awarded with a 32-6A Honorable Mention both her junior and senior year. She also serves as the President of the National Honor Society, the Secretary for the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics, Rho Kappa Social Studies, and Science Honor Societies.
She is a member of the Yearbook Club and is a debutante of the Lower Valley Cotillion Club. Upon high school graduation, she will have approximately 40 college credit hours. She was awarded the $500 TMF Enterprise Scholarship. She plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and continue her education in pursuing a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. She wants to become an elementary teacher, and after a few years of experience, wants to become a school administrator.

9_AnahiAnayaAnahi Anaya
Ninth Ranking Student

Anahi Anaya, the daughter of Yesenia Gonzalez, is the ninth ranked graduating student.
Anahi is a member of Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society. She will be graduating with over 30 college hours and plans on attending the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
She has been awarded the Presidential Scholarship from Abilene Christian University totaling $65,000 and the UTRGV Scholars Scholarship valued at $20,000.
She plans on becoming a Labor and Delivery Nurse and continue her studies to obtain a Master’s in Nursing to become a Nurse Practitioner. She also plans to stay in the Rio Grande Valley and work as a Nurse Practitioner in order to offer services to the people here.

10_McKaylaRyanGuerraMcKayla Ryan Guerra
Tenth Ranking Student

McKayla Ryan Guerra, the daughter of Rolando and Inez Guerra, is the tenth ranked graduating student.
McKayla Ryan served on Varsity Cross Country and Basketball teams all four years of high school and also participated in Volleyball and Track. She was awarded with 32-6A 1st Team All District and Defensive Player of the Year distinction in the Valley Morning Star for basketball. She enjoys participating in sport events and the arts. She likes to read and draw during her spare time.
She will be attending the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley and major in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She plans on pursuing a Master’s Degree to be able to teach speech-impaired children. She plans to travel around the globe after earning her degree.