La Porte High School has announced that Audrey Ladd is the valedictorian of the LPHS Class of 2013, and Courtney Beacham is the salutatorian.
The top-ranking students will lead the graduating class during LPISD commencement on June 7, 2013, at Bulldog Stadium.
After graduation, Audrey plans to attend the University of North Texas, where she will major in history. She hopes to then earn a master's degree in museum science, and eventually her doctorate, with the goal of becoming a museum curator.
"I've always loved history," Audrey said. "Because of my fascination with history, I looked into careers related to it." When she visited the King Tut exhibit, she immediately knew that a museum career would combine her passion for the subject with her love for creativity.
Audrey was a 2013 Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship Program, placing among the top five percent of the more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
She has been an active participant in the annual LPHS musical, serving as assistant director for the past two years. In addition, she is a member of the UIL one-act play cast and crew for the third year. She also serves as an officer in Thespians.
Audrey is a four-year member of the LPHS Orchestra and has participated in the varsity Orchestra the past two years. A cellist, she has been an orchestra officer for all four years and currently serves as president for the second consecutive year.
An Advanced Placement Scholar with Honors, Audrey also is the current vice president of the National Honor Society and a member of the Eco Club. She also participated in the TRUTH program.
Audrey, who is a product of LPISD schools, started kindergarten at Rizzuto Elementary School and also attended Baker Sixth Grade Campus and La Porte Junior High School.
She is the daughter of Gina and Donald Ladd of La Porte and the granddaughter of Robbie Ladd, Janice Guilliams, Charles Householder and the late John Ladd. She has one sister, Amanda, who graduated from LPHS in 2010.
Courtney plans to attend Baylor University, the University of Texas or the University of Houston, where she will major in biology. She plans to attend medical school with the goal of becoming a pediatrician.
"Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a pediatrician," Courtney said. "I'm good with kids, and I enjoy spending time with them."
Also a very involved senior, Courtney was active in soccer while at LPHS and made the varsity team as a sophomore. In addition, she participated in the LPHS Marching Band, serving as drill captain.
Courtney has been involved in the annual LPHS musical as a crew member for the past two years, and she served as stage manager for 42nd Street this year. In addition, she is a member of the UIL one-act play cast and crew and serves as National Honor Society publicity officer.
Courtney also has attended LPISD schools since kindergarten. She went to Rizzuto, Jennie Reid and Lomax elementary schools as well as Baker Sixth Grade Campus and Lomax Junior High School.
Courtney is the daughter of Denny Beacham and Jennifer Glass. She has two sisters-Samantha, who is an LPHS freshman, and Nadia, who is four years old. Her grandparents are Gail Grabbe Glass and Sam Glass of La Porte and Joy Pantallion of Nacogdoches.
Audrey and Courtney agreed that their experience in La Porte ISD schools has been a positive one, and they cited LPISD programs and teachers as being instrumental to their success.
"The fine arts program here is phenomenal," Audrey gave as an example. "Musical and orchestra have made a big impact on who I am and where I am today."
"I've had some of the best teachers ever," Courtney added. "In addition to being very good at teaching, they genuinely care about me and my success."