Wichita Falls graduated their 2018 seniors Saturday and among them, three valedictorians, all women.
For seniors, graduating high school is a major feat, but Sankirthana Malireddy, Caleigh Studer, and Sophi Samus have one more accomplishment to add to their senior year. They were all named valedictorian.
“I wasn’t aiming for valedictorian,” Malireddy, valedictorian at Hirschi High School, said. “I was just kind of going through it and taking all that I could learn from my teachers and I was surprised and really proud that I got it.”
“For me, it was sort of a feeling of relief because I worked so hard the last four years. I was excited too,” Caleigh Studer, valedictorian at Rider High School, said.
“They’ve told us through the years where we’re at and I’ve always been number two, so when we got that final answer I was like, no way,” Sophi Samus, valedictorian at Wichita Falls High School, said.
All three are interested in the STEM field and said that it’s becoming the norm for many women.
“I got a lot of notices about women engineering programs and it’s something that’s coming up a lot now, women in STEM fields and we’re showing that we’re capable of being innovative,” Malireddy said. “I actually want to go into medicine but I really love math and I think engineering would allow me to pursue the math side and the innovative side.”
“Women should be in every field. I think it’s really cool that all of us are girls and we’re all sort of going in that stem direction because there’s a lot of cool jobs and there’s a lot you can do,” Samus said.
Studer said she believes it’s encouraging for young girls to see females exceeding academically.
“I think it’s great to have female role models that you can look up to and people you want to be like,” Studer said. “I think it’s great that women are starting to have more equality especially in education with men.”
For the juniors moving into their final year, the valedictorians said hard work is only part of the journey.
“You should definitely be working hard but also take time to enjoy what you’re doing and what you’re studying,” Samus said.
Their advice to the younger generation….
“Judge yourself by your own standards and try not to compare yourself to other people because success means something different to everyone,” Studer said.
And that success in the WFISD will now help them set new standards.