Sara Hamblin never expected to be named the H.M. King High School Class of 2020 salutatorian. Her goal, she said, was to do well enough in school to be invited to the annual top ten banquet just like her older sister, Devyn, did when she was a student.
“I just wanted to be in the top ten, and I ended up being number two,” she said.
Sara is the daughter of DeAnna and Ty Hamblin. During high school, she was the National Honor Society president, a section leader and drill instructor with the marching band and part of the U.S. Army JROTC.
Sara also received her associate’s degree from Coastal Bend College during her junior year.
“So when I start college in the fall, I’ll already have my first two years done,” she said.
Sara said she had “a lot of fun doing the traditional senior year stuff” during the first semester, before the COVID-19 pandemic kept school campuses closed following Spring Break. Despite that setback, Sara said she kept herself busy with her volunteer work with the Kingsville Animal Advocates.
“I spent a lot of time at the animal control facility taking pictures of all the dogs so we could send them to rescues around the country,” she said.
Sara said she also kept herself busy by taking an online calculus course during the spring.
Where the pandemic was especially disappointing for Sara was with all of the school functions being canceled during the spring semester, including the top ten banquet.
“I had really been looking forward to the banquet,” she said.
Sara said seniors had the opportunity to invite their favorite teacher to the annual banquet, and she was sad that she was not able to do that.
“But I still went ahead and wrote letters to two of my teachers thanking them,” she said. “To Ms. (Susan) Etzler, my choir teacher, and Mr. (Steven) Chapa, who was my English teacher.”
As for life after high school, Sara said she will be attending Texas A&M University-Kingsville starting in the fall where she will major in computer science and minor in security engineering.
“I just like working with technology,” she said. “In school, I did a competition for National History Day where I made a 10-minute documentary every year. That was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed putting those together on the computer.”
Sara said she is also considering joining the U.S. Air Force after college.
As for next year’s freshman class, Sara said her advice to them would be to keep up with their classwork and try to not procrastinate.
“Even I find it easy to procrastinate, but it’s important to not fall behind,” she said.