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St. Joseph valedictorian, salutatorian helped each other get to the top

JULIAN CAVAZOS

By JULIAN CAVAZOS
May 27, 2010 at 12:27 a.m.

St. Joseph High School valedictorian Christian Maxwell, 17, is headed for Yale University. "I'm a little bit intimidated by attending an Ivy League school," Maxwell said.

St. Joseph High School's top two graduates say they have three things to remember on graduation day: smile, don't trip, and deliver an awesome speech.

Salutatorian Amanda Boozalis, 18, will also try to hold back her tears.

"If I start thinking about leaving all my friends, then the tears will start pouring," Amanda said. "I'll do the crying later."

Graduation will take place Sunday at the Victoria College Auditorium. There are 92 graduates this year.

Amanda is spending time at home for now until mid-June, when she will get an early start on summer classes at Washington University at St. Louis to study biochemistry.

Valedictorian Christian Maxwell will head off to Yale University in the fall to study some type of natural or social science.

"I'm a little bit intimidated by attending an Ivy League school and the expectations that come with it," the 17-year-old said. "I'll miss the people I grew up with. I will probably stay in contact with them. I'll eventually create a Facebook profile."

The 2010 class is said by students to be a competitive one, but in a good way.

"It's competitive in the sense that everybody wants to get high grades," Christian said. "I think we help one another if you ask."

Even Christian needed help at times, such as in English.

"I had to work really hard at English," Christian said. "If people wanted to help me with English, I gladly accepted it. I received help and that's how I became valedictorian, and through helping others. I'm not perfect."

Amanda said studying hard and tutoring other students helped her do well in school.

"Always asking questions, forming study habits that work," she said. "Tutoring other people. The best way to learn is to teach as far as I know. If someone asks you for help, it's a good way to refresh your memory by tutoring."

English teacher Gretchen Boyle is proud her two students.

"Christian always wants to know the full answer, the extent of everything, regardless of the grade," Boyle said. "Amanda is very open to all ideas and all the deep analysis and skills that's required in reading and writing."

Principal Tony Winstead said he knows Christian and Amanda will be successful in their future endeavors.

"Both of them have such outstanding work ethic and study skills," Winstead said. "I just know they're going to make this world a better place."

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