Faith made valedictorian 'more of a man'
Jennifer Lee Preyss
May 31, 2012 at 12:31 a.m.
Updated June 1, 2012 at 1:01 a.m.
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When Emmitt Reinke reflects on his academic career at Faith Academy, he'll remember one moment - earning the valedictorian spot in his graduating class.
"I had been working hard to get that goal, and when I found out I got it, I just had a feeling of accomplishment," said Emmitt, 18. "I just kept thinking, 'You made it. You got it.' That was one of the best feelings."
Since middle school, Emmitt has flip-flopped between the first and second academic place in his class of 2012 with salutatorian Shelby Brown.
"It's been going on for years," he said. "I beat her by .0437 percent. That's how close it was."
But Emmitt said he was overwhelmed and overjoyed by the final numbers.
"I wanted and needed it. It helps pay for college," Emmitt said, who will attend Texas A&M University in the fall to study mechanical engineering. He also hopes to join the Corps of Cadets, and enlist as an officer in the Army and Air Force.
During high school, the valedictorian succeeded in basketball as a post, ran track and field, served on the Chapel Team, and was president of National Honor Society. He's also worked on the staff as a maintenance man for about one year.
Emmitt said when he leaves Victoria for college, he'll miss his classmates and church family, many of whom he's known since elementary school.
And when they disperse into the world after Sunday's graduation, he said he hopes they'll strive to make the future their "best years."
"I know people who look back on high school, and these years were their best years. But I would say to not let this time be your best years. I would tell them to see your goals and do everything you can to make it," he said. "We are the change that we need to see in this world and anything we need to see done, we have to do it ourselves."
As a longtime private schooler and man of strong faith, Emmitt said he knows he's well prepared to go out into the world and continue to build his relationship with God.
"They've prepared us well here to get ready for when you go out into the world. The world can hit you hard and you have to be prepared," he said. "Being here and working here with all these people - I'm more of a man for it."