By RAY QUIROGA
Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS
Janelle Chavez is a parent’s dream and an educator’s delight. In fact, if you were to search for the term “overachiever” in the dictionary, don’t be surprised to find a photograph of this Port Isabel High School senior adjacent to that entry.
This 17-year old is not only an academic standout, she’s also the Port Isabel High School varsity cheerleading squad’s head cheerleader as well as student body president, National Honors Society Club president and vice president of her campus’ Spanish Club. She was also voted class president her freshman and sophomore years and class representative her junior year of high school. She also won the state UIL championship for spelling and vocabulary and is the captain of PIHS’s Masterminds team, among other activities.
Most recently, Chavez was recognized as an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Distinction. In order to achieve that distinction, she needed to score 3.5 or better on five AP tests. In addition, she was recognized as a highly coveted AP International Scholar in which she essentially was pitted alongside the top AP students from around the world. To achieve this, Chavez scored highly on five different tests, two in two different languages, including science, history and world culture. Last year, Texas boasted a total of only six AP International Scholars, and there were only 340 high school students who achieved that honor nationally.
“AP is a big thing for me since I first started taking those classes during my sophomore year. Right from the beginning, I knew I needed to pass those classes; so, yeah, I studied year-long to pass those tests,” Chavez said. She went on to add that she enjoys the challenges posed by AP classes as well as credit for college hours.
When asked which class or test question proved the most challenging for her, she understandably said chemistry. “Chemistry for sure (I found the most challenging). I love chemistry, but it was at the college level so it was really intense. Just the free response questions were on material I had never seen before, but I did really well (regardless),” Chavez said.
As if that wasn’t enough, Chavez was named a National Hispanic Scholar by the National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Program given to 2 percent of all Hispanic high school juniors who took the PSAT and scored in the upper percentile.
So what’s in young Ms. Chavez’s future? Well, don’t be surprised if this young lady has the letters “Dr.”, as in medical doctor, before her name in the relatively near future. “I’m not sure what school I want to go to yet, but I’m definitely interested in medicine and the plan is now to be a cardiothoracic surgeon,” Chavez said.