Victoria West graduate wants to save lives (w/video)

Victoria West High School seniors lend advice to incoming freshman.=20
  • Victoria West High School Class of 2014 – Top of the Class

  • SUMMA CUM LAUDE

    Charles Ray Bennett

    Kindle Katherine Burns

    Ellen Marie Hermes

    Katharine Stuart Klimist

    MAGNA CUM LAUDE

    Annalicia Aguilar,

    Braydon Joseph Frazer,

    Addie Elise Griffith,

    Sage Marie Harrison,

    Rachel Anne Innocenti,

    Charlsa Ann Matson,

    Todd Michael Mickey,

    Benjamin Andrew ...

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  • SUMMA CUM LAUDE

    Charles Ray Bennett

    Kindle Katherine Burns

    Ellen Marie Hermes

    Katharine Stuart Klimist

    MAGNA CUM LAUDE

    Annalicia Aguilar,

    Braydon Joseph Frazer,

    Addie Elise Griffith,

    Sage Marie Harrison,

    Rachel Anne Innocenti,

    Charlsa Ann Matson,

    Todd Michael Mickey,

    Benjamin Andrew Morgan,

    Breanna Belle Newyear,

    Logan Elaine Wiggen

Sarah Warner said she considers Victoria West to be her baby – all of this year’s graduating seniors do, she said.

The Class of 2014 is the first group of freshmen who enrolled at the high school and are the first bunch to graduate having attended all four years together.

“It makes us feel like we’re the most authentic,” Sarah, 18, said. “Yeah, we complained about the dress code and all of the rules, but I’m going to be sad to let it go.”

The Class of 2014 walked across Memorial Stadium field Friday night to the “Graduation March” as loved ones roared in applause in the stands – whistling, waving their hands, hats and signs.

“It’s so exciting to watch them move into the next chapter of their lives,” lead counselor Ramona Alvarado said.

Alvarado, who also started with the high school four years ago when it opened, said she has a special kinship with this graduating class.

“You see them grow,” she continued. “Watching them mature is so exciting. We had some who struggled, and still, they did it. They graduated.”

Looking back at her time at Victoria West, Sarah said the advice she lends incoming freshman is to slow down and enjoy it.

“A lot of them probably can’t wait to graduate and move out and go away to college,” she said. “You don’t realize how fast it all goes by.”

Sarah said there were many experiences as a high schooler that she’ll hold onto fondly – fantastic math teachers, volleyball and all of the jokes – but there’s only one that changed her life forever.

On May 1, Sarah lay on the hood of a crashed car, bloody. The thumping sound of propellers whirling above permeated her ears, and the deafening scream of her best friend startled her. Sarah was one of 24 student actors who played a role in Shattered Dreams, a demonstration aimed at discouraging teens from drinking and driving.

“It was so weird to put yourself in that situation,” Sarah said. “To lay there and have to listen to the doctor tell my parents that he did all that he could, and then to hear my parents say their goodbyes to me – it was life-changing.”

Sarah originally planned to head to Texas A&M University in College Station to study speech pathology, but her involvement with Shattered Dreams has led her to instead pursue a career as a flight nurse.

During the presentation, Sarah said she and other students toured an area hospital and that a nurse’s outlook on caring for traumatic injuries inspired her.

“She told me that she has a good relationship with God – it wasn’t what she said but just the way she talked about it – she was so in tune,” Sarah said. “I want that.”

Sarah also said her grandmother has played a big role in her wanting to help others. She originally chose speech pathology as a career because she was emotionally stirred by her grandmother’s love for her grandfather. Her grandfather had Alzheimer’s disease and was comatose for several years. He died a year ago.

“She gave up her entire life to take care of him,” Sarah said about her grandmother. “I want to be like her one day – I hope I love someone as much as she loved him.

“I want to be the best part of someone’s worst day.”


Victoria West High School Class of 2014 – Top of the Class

SUMMA CUM LAUDE

Charles Ray Bennett

Kindle Katherine Burns

Ellen Marie Hermes

Katharine Stuart Klimist

MAGNA CUM LAUDE

Annalicia Aguilar,

Braydon Joseph Frazer,

Addie Elise Griffith,

Sage Marie Harrison,

Rachel Anne Innocenti,

Charlsa Ann Matson,

Todd Michael Mickey,

Benjamin Andrew Morgan,

Breanna Belle Newyear,

Logan Elaine Wiggen