For Madison Parr, being named class valedictorian has been a goal for as long as she can remember.
“Since even before high school,” she said.
After years of hard work, Madison was both relieved and excited when she was told she would be the Class of 2020 H.M. King High School valedictorian.
“It’s a real feeling of accomplishment,” she said.
Madison is the daughter of Ryan and Denise Parr. She originally attended school with the Bishop Consolidated Independent School District before transferring to Kingsville ISD during her sophomore year.
In high school, Madison has been active in the National Honor Society, HOSA, DECA, American Red Cross, marching band, cheerleading and various UIL events.
“I tried to get involved in as much as I could,” she said.
Madison was also involved with area Special Olympics activities, volunteering her time to assist with local basketball and bowling events.
While excited about receiving valedictorian honors, Madison said she was also “a little sad” that because of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, she would not be able to give her speech in person in front of her classmates.
“But I always try to stay positive,” she said. “And I feel like we all did what we could to make the best of it.”
Madison said she learned early in life the importance of cherishing moments “as they come by.”
“And not to just hope for better moments, because you never know when a moment will be your last,” she said. “So I had tried to make my first semester as great as I could, and even though the second semester wasn’t as great, I still have all of those special moments that I can look back on.”
Madison was glad, however, that she and her classmates would still be able to participate in a graduation ceremony.
“It won’t be the same as a traditional (ceremony), but I’m excited that we will all have an opportunity to walk across the stage,” she said. “That’s all I really wanted, and that’s all that any high school student could wish for. They (the school district) are making the best out of it, as we all are.”
This fall, Madison will attend Texas A&M University in College Station where she will study the biomedical sciences on her path to medical school.
“For the longest time, I’ve always been interesting in medicine,” she said. “Even as a kid, when one of my brothers would cut themselves, I wanted to ‘rush them to surgery’ and put a Band-Aid on them.”
As for her advice to incoming freshman, Madison recommended getting involved in a variety of activities.
“Don’t over-involve yourself to where you’re stressed out, but I’ve met some of my best friends just by joining clubs that I didn’t think I would like at first,” she said.
Madison stressed the importance of making the best out of everything life throws their way.
“And don’t ever wait for a moment to happen,” she said. “Bring that moment to the present yourself.”