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Tough work pays off for Top 10

Diana Dellecese
managing editor 

The Honor Court consists of seniors (from top left) Ben Hsu, Shaun Rubin, Joey Wolf, Jay Wickersham, (from bottom left) Maggie Guice, Maria Diaz, Erin Kocher and Heather Montgomery. BELOW: Cory Goldman and Tyler Ericson achieve the honors of valedictorian and salutatorian respectively. Photo illustrations by Emily Broaddus.

“Extremely intelligent, focused, ambitious, proactive…”

These are a few choice words that Magda Rodriguez, college career counselor, uses when describing the Honor Court. Since freshman year, seniors have fought for a place in the prestigious “Top 10”, and as the year draws to a close, the Class of 2012 has found its top students.

The Honor Court, in order of rank, includes: Cory Goldman (Northwestern University); Tyler Ericson (University of Florida); Maggie Guice (University of Alabama); Maria Diaz (Johns Hopkins University); Benjamin Hsu (University of Florida); Jay Wickersham (University of Florida); Shaun Rubin (Harvard University); Joseph Wolf (University of Central Florida); Erin Kocher (University of Alabama) and Heather Montgomery (Clemson University).

“Being a member of the Honor Court is a prestigious honor that students can achieve through hard work, dedication, and the right motivation,” Rodriguez said.

While other students might give up after realizing the amount of work being in the Top 10 entails, others rise to the challenge, separating themselves from the crowd and making up the Top 10. With acceptance letters from prestigious schools in their possession, their rewards far outweighed the cons of studying for hours at a time.

“For the past four years I’ve worked really, really hard. I’ve sacrificed so much time taking secret online classes and dual enrolling and maintaining A’s in all of my classes. It was a lot of hard work and at times I didn’t think it was worth it, but I’m glad that it all worked out in the end. I’m attending my dream school in the fall, I’m Valedictorian, and I’m honestly just so glad that I did this and that I didn’t take the easy way out,” Cory Goldman, senior, said.

Students fought tooth and nail to become a part of the prestigious Top 10, and this graduating class had some tough competition. Between the majority of students taking online classes to boost up their chances of earning a spot and AP study sessions becoming more intense, students’ ranks continued to rise and the requirements to make it on the list rose higher and higher.

“I was very surprised to know I was Top 10. I remember going to Ms. Rogers and telling her I thought I was number 20,” Joey Wolf, senior, said. “It was a great shock, and I was so happy to know that four years of AP classes and dual enrollment paid off. I’m honored to be a part of such a hardworking group of friends and colleagues.”

Wharton’s Top 10 will walk across the stage along with the rest of 2012’s graduating class on June 6 at 8 pm at the Florida Fairgrounds. Their photos will be encased in the library for the next year in order to inspire and encourage others to work hard.

“Being part of Honor Court has taught me a huge lesson in life; I can do anything if I put my mind to it,” Maria Diaz, senior, said. “I never thought with balancing several jobs, extracurriculars, and so many other responsibilities I would have been able to come this far!”

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