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Edna valedictorian meets goal to be top in graduating class

By Bianca Montes
June 2, 2014 at 1:02 a.m.

Jerod McCarrell, 18, the 2014 Edna High School valedictorian, has a love of the outdoors. The future University of Texas student likes to hunt and fish; he intends to use his new rifle to hunt hogs this summer before moving to Austin.

Edna High School Class of 2014

WHAT: Graduation

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Cowboy Memorial Stadium

Class Size: 101 graduates

Class Color: Royal blue and white

Class Flower: White rose

Class Song: "Wherever I go" Miley Cyrus

Class Motto: "Where the present ends, the future begins."

Valedictorian: Jerod McCarrell

GPA: 5.36

College: University of Texas at Austin

Activities: Fitness, sports, hunting and fishing

Parents: Mike McCarrell, of Edna, and the late Janet Kay McCarrell

Accomplishments: National Honor Society, distinguished honor roll, class president (freshman and sophomore years), junior class vice president, 2012 Gold Youth leadership nominee, regional state science Olympiad medalist, National Society of High School scholar nominee, football and baseball letterman, academic all-state invitational and district UIL academic medalist, National Association of Future Physicians and Medical Doctors nominee, second team all-district in football as the smallest lineman in district, 2013 Edna Cowboy football Rudy Mesa outstanding leadership award and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Go Texan $18,000 scholarship winner.

EDNA - Jerod McCarrell knew he would graduate top of his class when he was 10 years old.

His older brother, Jamie McCarrell, had just walked across the stage as the Edna High School class of 1999 valedictorian, and one day, he would do the same.

"He's my role model," the 18-year-old Edna High School senior said. "And since he got it, I wanted to be valedictorian, too."

McCarrell will graduate Friday - meeting his goal - but said the path wasn't always easy.

"All of it took hard work," he said. "But this last year was the hardest."

He went into his senior year thinking he'd take some "chill classes," but instead he was loaded down with AP classes in English, chemistry and calculus, not to mention dual-credit college algebra.

"I thought, 'if I can't take the classes I want, I might as well take the classes I needed,'" he said.

Jerod McCarrell's drive to succeed is something his brothers and sisters all work toward. He shines through in everything he does - whether it be his personal fitness goals, sports or being a peer leader.

"We have a history in our family to strive to do better," Jamie McCarrell, 33, said. "I think there is a general sense of that in our family, but I think he has extra drive because of his mom passing away when he was younger."

Jerod McCarrell's mother died Christmas morning 2006.

"He has a good realization of purpose, and he works to his strengths," Jamie McCarrell said. "I think part of his drive has to do with the realization that life is not permanent."

Jerod McCarrell will attend the University of Texas, where he'll major in exercise science and minor in business management. He plans to continue his education by receiving a doctorate in orthopedics and work for a Methodist Sports Medicine.

His twin, Justin McCarrell, will attend Texas Tech in the fall to major in electrical engineering.

For now, Jerod is looking forward to college, a period of self-enlightenment, he said, "a time to figure out who I am and who I want people to perceive me."

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