Isabel DeSanno

Isabel DeSanno is Faith Academy’s valedictorian.

Isabel DeSanno, 17, feels privileged to be her class valedictorian.

“It’s an honor,” Isabel said. “It takes a lot of work to get here. And I think it’s quite the accomplishment.”

Isabel and her classmates will graduate at 5 p.m. Sunday at Faith Family Church, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane.

The graduate said she being valedictorian has been a goal of hers for some time, and she has been in the top of her class for the past few years.

“It’s been a position I’ve been in for a little while, so it wasn’t much a surprise,” Isabel said. “It’s such a privilege.”

Isabel said she is looking forward to speaking during her graduation ceremony on Sunday and celebrate her accomplishments.

“I think that I wanted to prove to people that I could do it,” she said. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and be the best at something.”

Isabel plans to speak about her struggles with medical problems and other obstacles and how she made it to where she is today.

“It’s not something that I’m public about,” she said. “I wanted to share what it took to get to where I am.”

In school, Isabel took dual credit courses and graduated with her associate’s degree, so she will be entering college as a junior.

“It took so much extra time on top of high school classes,” Isabel said.

Isabel plans to attend Kean University in Union, N.J. She plans to swim for the school, as well.

“They wanted me to swim for them and that drew me to the school,” she said.

She will major in forensic psychology and hopes to swim competitively well into getting her master’s degree.

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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