By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
Callisburg High School Class of 2011 valedictorian Morgan Garner possibly reached this academic pinnacle by learning certain lessons very early.
“Stick to what you know and don’t involve yourself in anything that doesn’t matter, like gossip,” she said, when asked what to advise incoming freshmen. “Just focus on your studies. Because that’s all that will matter in the real world.”
Garner and salutatorian Chris Faddis discussed their high school years Friday and also revealed they both plan a future in the medical realm. Garner will attend Texas A&M University to study biomedical sciences, while Faddis will major in biology at Texas Tech University. Garner loves caring for animals and intends to open a veterinary practice while Faddis hopes to be a registered nurse before attending a medical school to be a doctor.
These plans require brains. And neither graduate shows a lack of them.
“My entire family just kinda comes naturally smart,” Faddis said, admitting his career plans were steered by a medical terminology class during his sophomore year. “I just kinda sit in class and that’s about all I do. I don’t study much.”
But Garner said her own academic strength came through work. “I don’t have anyone to thank because I didn’t get any tutoring,” she said. “I just have to study until I know I have it right.”
A press release said Garner has attended Callisburg ISD since kindergarten. During high school she was active in band and the National Honor Society and was a leader in the high school’s journalism department, competing successfully in UIL editorial and feature writing categories. Faddis, the release said, was active in the National Honor Society plus UIL science, social studies and editorial writing categories, among others.
Intelligence aside, both students credit their friends in the high school experience and both know these relationships will change once graduation is over.
“They’re all moving in different places,” Garner said — and Faddis said college will create a separation. He entered seventh grade having moved to Texas from Florida, and said he had no trouble making friends in school, but something different is coming.
“A lot of my friends that I’ve had through high school, they’ve been through a lot with me,” he said. “And after we graduate and go our separate ways, that’ll change quite a bit.”
High school combines social and academic challenges to a daunting degree. For many, academic success may only be possible through effort, but Faddis said social success shouldn’t require that at all.
He advised younger students who want to fit in not to go changing.
“Just be who you want to be and if people like that, they like it,” he said. “If they don’t, they’re just not good enough for you.”