Stephanie Rodas, valedictorian and soon to be a first-generation college student from Carter High School, is making history with the highest grade point average ever recorded since the school opened in 2004 – a whopping 4.88.
Rodas has huge plans for the future as she has been accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), during one of the most challenging school years in the history of the world, amidst the pandemic and all.
“There have been so many challenges Stephanie has faced as a first-generation student and sustaining almost a 5.0 GPA through a pandemic is crazy; our school, her parents, and the community are so proud of her…she’s definitely going to inspire many students along the way,” said CHS Principal Ricardo Garcia.
One major attribute Rodas carries is her passion for community service in and around the city of Rialto – she is a member of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club at CHS, participates in service projects by writing letters to the elderly in convalescent homes and also tutors elementary school students.
“During my 18 years of teaching, I’ve never come across a student so committed to their future as Stephanie,” said Aaron Thomas, Carter High School math teacher. “If we asked her to take a class, she took it. If we encouraged her to apply to anything, she applied. If we informed her of any opportunity, she went out and took advantage of it.”
Before going on to pursue higher education this fall at UCLA with the goal of landing a career as a physiatrist or psychologist, Rodas is scheduled to deliver a compelling speech at the high school’s in-person graduation ceremony on June 5.
“With Stephanie having the honor of being valedictorian, I know it’s not the finish line,” said Nicki Wilson, Carter High School English teacher. “And certainly, none of this is her victory lap. Stephanie reminds me not to become weary in doing good, for if we persevere, we will reap a harvest. As we celebrate her achievements today, know that this is only a mile marker on her marathon. I’m certain this is one of many kinds of harvests for Stephanie; and it’s a privilege to stand on the sideline, clapping and cheering.”
The high school has scheduled three different in-person ceremonies to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines; attendees will also hear from CHS Salutatorian Adriana Roman. For more information, visit kec.rialto.k12.ca.us/chs.