Santo High School Valedictorian Abigayle Taylor

GPA: 4.0

Parents: Greg and Gayle Taylor

School activities/organizations: FFA chapter president, area vice president, state qualifier; UIL regional qualifier; Beta Club president; Student Council president; Class president; FCA leader; SHS band drum major; homecoming queen; One-Act Play actress.

Favorite TV show: “The Good Place”

Favorite movie: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Favorite band/group/musical artist: Rex Orange County

Favorite book: “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

Santo High School Valedictorian Abigayle Taylor

Santo High School Valedictorian Abigayle Taylor.

What college do you plan on attending and what field of study do you plan to major/minor in?

I will be attending Abilene Christian University in the fall to major in nonprofit communications and minor in graphics design. I would also like to earn a master’s degree in Leadership Communications.

What do you think you will remember about high school when looking back on it years from now?

The people, without a doubt. Not only my classmates, but the amazing teachers I had over the years. They really were a family to me, and being involved in so many organizations gave me the opportunity to connect with my teachers outside of the classroom and create meaningful connections. Growing up in a small town also allowed me to personally know and interact with all of the kids in my class and the classes above and below. I am grateful that years from now, I will be able to look back fondly on all of the memories made with such special people.

What would you like to say to your senior classmates?

It has been hard to lose these last three months together – the months we thought we would be soaking up our last victories, accomplishments and memories of high school. But I know there is not a more resilient class than ours. This struggle will not limit us or detract from what we have accomplished and experienced these past 12 or 13 years. It’s going to propel us forward in our lives and connect us even deeper. I cannot wait to see the impact each of you will make on the world. We’re doers, believers, and world-changers. And thankfully, we have enough faith and humor to make it through the hard times. I have loved growing up with each of you, and although it wasn’t always easy, our little group of 29 is a family. So as we take our steps into the first day of the rest of our lives, remember to keep a smile on your face, a song in your heart, a pep in your step, and always have the courage to stick your neck out.

What advice would you give undergrads and younger students when it comes to their academics and school-related activities, those striving to achieve the level of success you have, and those who might need some motivation to go for it and do their best? What motivated you, and to what, or who, do you credit your academic success?

My advice is to not limit yourself while you are still trying to figure out where your passions and talents lie. Your first year or so of high school, try everything. If there was an organization at Santo, my freshman year I was a part of it. But this can become overwhelming, so you must then determine which programs are best for you, your goals, and your happiness. Prioritizing is essential to balancing all of your responsibilities throughout high school. When you do this, not only are you opening up your schedule to breathe, you are also allowing yourself to succeed in the areas you prioritized. I really encourage you to make connections with your teachers. Develop those relationships! You do not realize how much they love and support you. And they really do want to hear what you have to say. Having that connection will make it easier to receive help when you are struggling, and it will also make class more bearable and enjoyable. Most of my success throughout high school came from supportive and involved teachers that worked for me just as hard as I worked for them. Finally: enjoy it. Take a step back from all the practices, games, homework, contests, or drama, and just enjoy being where you are with the people to your left and right.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned, and will take away, regarding what has happened regarding the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it has had on you, your senior year and perhaps it is having on your family and friends?

This pandemic has taught me not to take life for granted: to cherish every second. We were all looking forward to the last few months of school: the banquets, ball games, track meets, FFA contests, concerts, graduation. But suddenly they were gone. That really taught me to invest in the present and soak up every second, because you may not get another chance. This pandemic has made me realize the importance of faith and resilience. Despite the heartache and hardships that have accompanied 2020, we have persevered. Without knowing the final outcome, we have kept the faith in God and in each other. Our community has been kept safe, we have found virtual ways to connect and support one another, and in the end, this group of seniors will get to graduate and move forward in their lives, better equipped and more resilient than ever before.

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Santo High School Salutatorian Alyssa Lobbes

GPA: 4.0

Parents: David and Kim Lobbes

School activities/organizations: I have participated in tennis, track, basketball, UIL, FCA and FFA. I have been the Student Council secretary, Beta Club treasurer and vice president, and the Class of 2020 secretary. I have competed in FFA Quiz all four years of high school but this year for the first time in the history of Santo, our team competed at the state competition.

Favorite TV show: “Magnum P.I.”

Favorite movie: “Shooter”

Favorite band/group/musical artist: Koe Wetzel and Triston Marez

Santo High School Salutatorian Alyssa Lobbes

Santo High School Salutatorian Alyssa Lobbes.

Favorite book: I enjoy reading several different books, so I’m not sure that I have a favorite!

What college do you plan on attending and what field of study do you plan to major/minor in?

I plan to attend Angelo State University in San Angelo. I am going to major in Health Sciences and pursue a doctoral degree in physical therapy.

What do you think you will remember about high school when looking back on it years from now?

I will definitely remember the COVID-19 situation and all of the craziness that surrounded it. But I hope to remember all the fun experiences that I had in high school.

What would you like to say to your senior classmates?

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that our senior year was cut short and that we missed out on so much. I was so excited to go to senior prom and to have normal graduation. I enjoyed the years that we had together and thank you for accepting me into the class in eighth grade! I will cherish all of the memories we made together.

What advice would you give undergrads and younger students when it comes to their academics and school-related activities, those striving to achieve the level of success you have, and those who might need some motivation to go for it and do their best? What motivated you, and to what, or who, do you credit your academic success?

To those striving to achieve salutatorian I would tell them to work hard but not to overload yourself. I missed out on opportunities so that I could focus on my grades and hopefully become valedictorian. Do your best but don’t stress. Don’t put your physical or mental health at risk for it. To those needing motivation, I would say to work hard to earn good grades in all your classes because it will eventually pay off. Those grades transform into college acceptance letters and scholarships. I was motivated by my parents and by goals that I set for myself. My parents told me that they only expected me to do my best and were happy whether that was a 70 or if it was a 90. I credit my academic success to God, my family, and my teachers. Without their support, I would have never been able to do this.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned, and will take away, regarding what has happened regarding the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it has had on you, your senior year and perhaps it is having on your family and friends?

I have learned that no matter how terrible the world may seem to be, people come together during times such as these to help each other out. This pandemic has caused the best of humanity to appear, and I hope that that continues even when there isn’t a global disaster. Look at how our community rallied together. Families are making masks for their neighbors and the “Adopt a Senior” page was started to encourage us. This pandemic has had a huge impact on my senior year. Most of the events that you look forward to-prom, graduation, etc., have been cancelled or changed because of the virus. But it has been a blessing to see how the school administration and staff have worked tirelessly to help us during this time.

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