Close numbers for top GPA in Coronado High's Class of '14It took two numbers to the right of the decimal point to make the difference in the friendly grade-point-average (GPA) competition among the three top senior scholars at Coronado High School.
Emily Lambert took top honors with a grade-point average of 4.864, which gives her the honor of being the Class of 2014's valedictorian. In an ununusal statistical twist, two students - Kyle Allison and Derek Gorthy - tied for the second-highest GPA at 4.82 and will be co-salutatorians.
All three actually earned straight A's through their four years at Coronado. The students said the difference is that Derek and Kyle took one more class each than Emily that did not have extra “weighting.” The weighting, applied in classes deemed to be more difficult (under the categories of Honors or Advanced Placement) adds an extra point for any grade.
Each of the three had a different sort of answer to the Westside Pioneer question: “What is the secret(s) for getting good grades?”
For Emily, it is making sure to get enough sleep. She's aware of the many students who “pull all-nighters, but you can only do so much studying” before the information stops sinking in. “It's better to sleep,” she said.
Sharing the idea that studies shouldn't be put off, Kyle said his secret is “always staying on top of the work and never procrastinating.”
Derek believes athletic involvement provides a good balance for academics. “Aways do your homework and play a sport,” he said. “It keeps you in focus.”
Emily will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. She was the captain of the school soccer team the past two years. Helping with costs, her awards include the Presidential Scholarship, Women of Excellence Scholarship and Women's Soccer Scholarship.
Derek was a semi-finalist for a Boettcher Foundation scholarship, which he will combine with a merit scholarship in attending Colorado University at Boulder. At Coronado, he competed in track and cross-country; other activities included mentoring younger students (this year mentoring younger mentors) and the National Honor Society (NHS), in which he was vice president.
Kyle has a merit scholarship to Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. A four-year letterman in swimming, he was part of the 200-free relay team that took first at state this year. He was also in NHS.
Here are the scholars' responses to two other Pioneer questions:
Who are one or more people who helped you get to where you are?
- Emily - parents, Beverly and Curt; and siblings, Erica and Daryl.
- Kyle - parents, Tim and Sheila, and “most of my teachers.”
- Derek - parents, Cheryl and Scott; Doug Hugill, Coronado running coach; and Richard Hamilton, Derek's martial arts instructor for close to a decade.
What was your most valuable high school experience?
- Emily cited the school Engineering Department's Project Lead the Way for sparking her engineering interest, but “I feel all my classes prepared me.”
- Derek believes he learned personal resolve from a several-month ordeal with anemia, stretching from the latter part of his freshman year until well into the first semester of his sophomore year, when the malady was finally diagnosed, “It would have been easy to give up,” he recalled.
Kyle's best experience at Coronado was every year with the swim team, getting to compete in the sport he likes and to be among like-minded friends. “That season was always my favorite,” he said.
Westside Pioneer article