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Plant City Observer Friday, May 8, 2015 3 years ago

DHS graduates the scientists of tomorrow

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Students in the Durant High School class of 2015 will soon be all together one last time, as they get ready to take their next steps out into the real world. And at the graduation ceremony in June, they shouldn’t expect to hear a typical closing speech from their valedictorian, Ashley Womer.

“Mine’s a little nontraditional,” Womer said.

Though her speech is mostly positive, she’ll discuss some of the struggles she had to face throughout her high school years.

Womer knew from her first days at Durant that she would likely graduate at the top of her class, but there were plenty of challenging moments. She took AP classes her freshman year and continued with advanced classes and dual enrollment.

Womer finished with a GPA of 7.36.

“She was pretty much always beating everybody by a lot,” salutatorian Mario Reyes-Munoz said, teasing Womer.

Reyes-Munoz’s rank shifted slightly throughout the years, but he finished with a 6.68 GPA.

Both students were well-rounded, with involvement in a variety of activities.

“I’m very athletic,” Wormer said. “I love running, yoga.”

One of Womer’s main interests is science. She participated in Science Club and took all AP science classes.

Reyes-Munoz is also an athlete. He ran cross country for four years at Durant, and track for three years. His other extra-curriculars included Leo Club, math team, National Honor Society and science competitions.

One of Reyes-Munoz’s challenges during high school was time management.

“I always had a lot of other events going on,” he said.

Womer is headed to University of Florida, and Reyes-Munoz will be attending University of South Florida on an academic scholarship. They both plan to focus on fields within the realm of science, technology, engineering and math.

“I’m definitely excited for the future, being on my own, having my own apartment, being two hours away,” Womer said. “I think that’s going to be exciting for me.”

They both expect to stay on top of their schedules and coursework in college, continuing to strive for the excellence they demonstrated at Durant.

Womer said her advice for underclassmen is to apply to a number of colleges — even those that might seem outside of their comfort zones. It offers more opportunities for scholarships and provides more options when it comes time to make a decision, she said.

Contact Catherine Sinclair at [email protected].

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