W.T. White High School senior Sarah Strother celebrated being the third Strother sibling to be named valedictorian on Saturday. Her brothers Luke and John took their walks to the podium in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
“We’ve always been very competitive. If they can do it, I can do it,” she said. “I like to do the best I possibly can, I don’t like to do things halfway.”
Sarah found out that she was at the top of her class of 439 at the end of her junior year and was determined to keep her spot. She said playful sibling rivalry and support had motivated her to work hard in school, even when it had meant sacrificing things she found more fun in order to achieve her goals.
She also attributed her success to her advanced placement [AP] psychology teacher, Frank Smith, who she said made her feel comfortable asking questions; and to her AP calculus teacher, Angela Ross, who taught Sarah for three years and allowed her to work at her own pace.
“If you want to do something, work your hardest at it and don’t give up the second things get hard, because it can be really discouraging,” Sarah said.
Margaret Strother said she felt relief when she found out that her daughter would be valedictorian, but added she is proud of her children regardless of titles.
“We told them to do all of their work. We never expected any of them to be on top, we expected them to do their best,” Margaret said.
W.T. White Principal Michelle Thompson described Sarah as a dedicated student who balanced involvement in extracurriculars with her studies.
“We are really proud of her and her siblings for graduating from W.T. White,” Thompson said.
Sarah plans to study business at the University of Texas at Austin this fall.