St. Joseph valedictorian prepares grand send-off speech

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

May 23, 2013 at 12:23 a.m.
Updated May 24, 2013 at 12:24 a.m.

Ashley Kolar is the St. Joseph High School valedictorian. She  plans to attend Texas A&M University.

Ashley Kolar is the St. Joseph High School valedictorian. She plans to attend Texas A&M University.   Frank Tilley for The Victoria Advocate

When Ashley Kolar heard her name over the St. Joseph High School intercom in recent weeks, she didn't know she was about to be named valedictorian of her graduating class.

The 18-year-old wide-eyed brunette has been driven to succeed in academics since elementary school.

And she had consistently finished at the top each year.

But that didn't guarantee the valedictorian spot.

Even so, Kolar said she wasn't too concerned about it.

"I think getting an education is the most important thing, and I always aim for the best I can do," Kolar said. "But I didn't strive for valedictorian, necessarily. I just wanted to do my best."

Once called into the guidance office, Kolar learned she cinched the top academic placement for her 2013 class.

She was draped with golden graduation honors cords and congratulated for her four years of hard work.

"I was happy to get it," she said.

But Kolar is more than high test scores.

During her tenure at St. Joseph, she served on Student Council all four years, served as a student ambassador and class officer and was appointed to the National Honor Society. She was also a cheerleader, she said.

In the fall, Kolar will attend Texas A&M University, where she plans to obtain a bachelor's in business and master's degree in accounting.

"There's really no other school I wanted to go to," she said.

Now that finals are finished, Kolar said she's busy penning her valedictorian speech, and she hopes to encourage her fellow classmates to go out into the world and do great things with their lives.

"I really want my speech to reflect my classmates' journey through the years, not just my own," she said. "I want to encourage them to do their best in college and make great choices."

Kolar said she's excited to move away from Victoria but realizes the transition will be tough. She said among many things, she'll miss the many friends she has made since elementary school.

"I can't say that there's one thing I'm not going to miss," she said. "It's going to be different ... but I'm interested to see what God's plans are for me."



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