Go to main contentsGo to search barGo to main menu
Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 12:18 PM

Top of Class

Top of Class

Top of C lass Area schools announce valedictorians, salutatorians


Luke Thompson - Valedictorian

Luke Thompson will attend the University of Texas at Austin in the fall. He will major in economics. While at Taylor High School, Thompson was president of the class of 2024, served as the school’s National Honor Society president, played football and competed in golf. His dream job is running his own hedge fund. Thompson said his superpower is “strong endurance in all areas and endeavors.”

Rose Simons - Salutatorian

After receiving a full ride scholarship via QuestBridge, Rose Simons will attend Duke University as a computer science student. Simons participated in color guard for three years, has been a part of the National Honor Society for two years and was a member of the Taylor High School academic decathlon team that won state and placed third at nationals. She said her life philosophy is “if you’re going to do it, do it well, but don’t forget to have fun.”


Sofía Olguín - Valedictorian

Already with an associate degree in hand, Sofía Olguín will attend the University of Texas at Austin in the fall. “One of the only reasons I am able to address you all today in this way is because I have some of the most encouraging parents in the world,” she said. “At a young age, they taught me success is not something to obtain, but something to work for constantly.”

Cade Shirocky - Salutatorian

Cade Shirocky will attend Texas A&M Central Texas, along with his brother Conor, in the fall. “Every one of us have the traits needed to be successful in whatever comes next,” Shirocky said. “Regardless of whether you think it or not, the fact you are here today shows you have discipline, responsibility and commitment. With that, you can do great things.”


Mathew Martin - Valedictorian

Matthew Martin is set to attend the University of Texas at Austin to major in computer science. “To my sister, I don’t say enough how much I appreciate you, I know,” Martin said. “But I do appreciate you. You always look out for me, try to give me the best (advice) and actually read the long essays I send you … I love all of you guys.”

Kayla Noren - Salutatorian

Thrall High School’s salutatorian, Kayla Noren, will attend the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to major in mathematics. “(My parents) were always there to support me, keep me sane and guide Granger

Luke Thompson Photos courtesy of Taylor Independent School District
Rose Simons
Sofía Olguín Photos by Hunter Dworaczyk
Cade Shirocky

Tessa Burton - Valedictorian

Tessa Amanda Burton was a member of the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and FCCLA. She has participated in volleyball, basketball, softball, cross country, track, tennis and band. Tessa will be attending John Brown University where she has earned a volleyball scholarship.

She will be studying kinesiology to become a physical therapist.

Payton Dawn Filla - Salutatorian

Payton Filla was the class president and a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and The Locker. She has participated in softball, volleyball and track during her high school career. Payton will be attending Navarro College next year where she has earned a softball scholarship. She plans on getting her degree in psychology.

Tessa Burton (left) is Granger High School’s valedictorian and Payton Filla is the salutatorian. Photo courtesy of Granger Independent School District


Taylor Press