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Cuero valedictorian takes epic selfie

By Johnathan Silver
June 2, 2014 at 1:02 a.m.
Updated June 3, 2014 at 1:03 a.m.

Cuero High School valedictorian Hunter Fales, second left, takes a selfie before his speech  Friday at graduation.

Hunter Fales' high school graduation probably was better than yours.

The recent Cuero High School graduate achieved the coveted valedictorian distinction, but he wanted a more memorable, unique moment Friday.

"First, let me take a selfie," the 18-year-old said prior to his valedictorian address, turning away from classmates and guests to prop up his phone before clicking.

Fales' display, the selfie, is a current social phenomenon in which people take photos of themselves and publish via social media, particularly popular on applications such as Instagram and Snapchat. The craze has evolved into a song, "Selfie" (styled as "#Selfie"), with an accompanying music video that has been viewed more than 147 million times on YouTube as of Monday.

During the March broadcast of the 2014 Academy Awards, host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie with as many celebrities that could fit into the photo, breaking the record for retweets on Twitter and starting a worldwide contest via social media to see who could have the most people in a selfie and get the most retweets.

Fales' reception was memorable on two fronts. Attendees and graduating seniors had a laugh, and, in Ellen fashion, many people in the stands stood to get in Fales' photo.

"I was just excited and went along with it," he said, adding that administrators joined in on the laugh and his principal knew he would take the selfie.

However, not all schools are as receptive. Some have been known to ban excessive revelry at their ceremonies.

Fales said he will attend Texas A&M University this fall and study pharmacy.

Fales recognizes he might have put the class of 2015 on notice.

"I'm sure they're going to try to pull something off different," he said. "I don't know whether it's a selfie or whatever the hot thing will be next year."

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