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Liberty Academy's top student eager to face future decisions (w/video)

June 5, 2014 at 1:05 a.m.

Sophia Muzquiz

Sophia Muzquiz is leaving Liberty Academy as the top-ranked student in her class.

But now, it only gets harder after high school, she realizes.

"It's a pretty big milestone," Muzquiz said. "From this point out, everything will be difficult."

Muzquiz is one of the 45 students from Liberty Academy who graduated Thursday evening. Difficulties that Muzquiz referenced include deciding whether to attend college, enter the workforce or do something else. For this graduate, though weighing major options in life are difficult, it's also an exciting time.

Next for Muzquiz: attend the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa to study computer science and math.

"Getting to focus on your personal goals can be fulfilling," she said. "I'm pretty excited about that now."

Getting to this point, Muzquiz, who was home-schooled before attending the academy, fostered and maintained relationships with classmates and teachers alike. She also focused in the classroom, she said.

"If you don't pay attention, you're not going to get anything done."

In company with Muzquiz, Brittany Naranjo, the class' second-ranked student, also stuck with her studies, even after contemplating dropping out.

"It took a lot of hard work because I have a son," she said.

Her family members pushed her to stick with education, and she's glad that she had them and the school when she didn't think she would make it. Now, she's looking forward to attending Victoria College and studying radiology.

"They keep me motivated and make you want to be better for yourself," she said.

Muzquiz and Naranjo are examples of the driven students who attend Liberty Academy, Principal Sheila O'Briant said.

"They have decided that education is important to them, and they have made the decision to make that a priority," she said.

Liberty Academy is a school of choice, O'Briant explained, adding that admission requires going through an application and interview process. Faculty work closely with students, and when they are falling behind, tutoring is mandatory, O'Briant explained.

"I believe in them," she said, "and I believe they are capable of accomplishing anything they set out to accomplish."

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