Bloomington salutatorian gets inspiration from Marine brother
By BY CAMILLE M. DOTY - CDOTY@VICAD.COM
May 30, 2012 at 12:30 a.m.
Updated May 31, 2012 at 12:31 a.m.
BLOOMINGTON - Valarie Aguayo's love for the "CSI" series has helped her decide to pursue a career in science.
The 18-year-old Bloomington High School salutatorian plans to study radiology at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
She will graduate with a 92.1 GPA on Friday.
She is the first in her family to attend college.
During her time in school, Valarie kept busy with yearbook, UIL events and National Honor Society.
The middle child of Juan and Martina Aguayo also played volleyball and ran cross country her freshman and sophomore years.
She began to reflect on how life would change in the fall.
"It's going to be weird having to meet new people and seeing unfamiliar faces," she said.
Although Valarie will leave the comfort of Bloomington to attend a 10,000-person institution on the Gulf of Mexico, she looks forward to life's new chapter.
She will take with her memories of her time in Bloomington.
Valarie's favorite instructor was Shirley Hodges, who teaches English. "I think mostly because she scares me," she said. She described Hodges as a great, but strict teacher.
The self-proclaimed bookworm's favorite book is "Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey" because it offered the element of surprise.
Some of her family members noticed the honor student's love of learning.
"I teased her a lot. It's a brother's job," said Valarie's older brother, Juan Aguayo.
As soon as Valarie received word that she would be salutatorian, she called Juan.
"He was so proud of me. Then he made fun of me for being a nerd," she said jokingly of the person she called her biggest inspiration.
"He taught me to never give up," Valarie said.
The 21-year-old Marine admitted his sister always brought home exceptional grades, while he was more a B and C student.
There may be thousands of miles between them now, but their love for each other has not changed. The two talk or text every day.
"She's my baby sister and only sister, so I'm going to take care of her a lot," said Juan, who is stationed in California. He is at home on leave so he can attend her graduation.
Valarie and longtime friend Gabrielle Aguillon, who is the class valedictorian, have been friends for eight years.
The two will give their graduation speeches and compliment each other on stage.
"She (Gabrielle) is the funny one who tells the jokes," Valarie said "I'm the sarcastic one."