Cory LeDeay grew up traveling to oil fields and rigs with his father, who is one of many family members working in the oil industry.
LeDeay, 18, said he plans to carry on that tradition by earning a degree in petroleum engineering after he graduates from Bloomington High School on Friday.
“My whole family is in the oil field and that (engineering) is kind of a better part of it,” he said. “Math comes easiest. I am good with numbers.”
LeDeay was named the Bloomington High School salutatorian last week out of 56 graduating seniors. Aside from earning a stellar GPA, LeDeay played football for the Bloomington Bobcats, was a National Honor Society member, part of the class parliamentary for grade-level meetings and showed hogs for 10 years as a member of Bloomington 4-H. He also received an AdvoSports Varsity Cup nomination for best student athlete in football.
James Jenkins, LeDeay’s math teacher, said he watched the student find confidence in calculus and “really flex his muscle.”
“I think he felt that intensity and the beauty of the math itself,” he said. “It (calculus) is where math actually starts to become beautiful, and I think he saw that.”
LeDeay’s mother said her son has always been drawn to math and sciences.
“It kind of came natural to him,” Felicia LeDeay said. “One year he took three math classes, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, why would you do that?’”
Dedicated, easygoing and responsible are just a few of the words LeDeay uses to describe her son. She said she was not surprised to hear that he was named salutatorian because he has always excelled in school.
“I never really had to worry about him with grades. He pushed himself,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
LeDeay takes after his sister, Ashley LeDeay, who was the valedictorian at Bloomington High School in 2015. She recently graduated from Victoria College and started working as a nurse in Cypress, his mother said.
The graduate said he had a mixture of experiences and emotions during the past four years.
“Sometimes it was stressful, sometimes it was fun and sometimes it was just boring,” he said. “Right now, I feel ready to leave, but I feel like once I get out, I am going to want to come back.”
LeDeay will either attend the University of Houston or Texas Tech University in the fall, where he will major in petroleum engineering. Five years down the road, he said he hopes to be “settling down and starting a family.”
For teachers such as Jenkins, LeDeay will be missed.
“He really was just a wonderful, cheerful young man, athlete (and) good guy,” Jenkins said. “You’d like to have 150 kids like that, I really mean it.”