Friday, June 21, 2024

LHS’s 2024 valedictorian and salutatorian


Taylor Branson is 2024 Lipan High School valedictorian


Taylor Branson wrapped up her senior year with a GPA of 101.91. She was involved in the National Honor Society, UIL Academics, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Future Farmers of America. On top of extracurricular activities, running track, playing basketball, tennis and other hobbies, Branson says, “Balancing everything with dual credit courses and homework was a challenge.”


Branson is not the first person in her family to achieve such an academic designation; her mother and older brother also earned the title of valedictorian. Branson plans to attend Abilene Christian University to pursue a career in sports psychology, where she hopes to help athletes accomplish their goals.


While Branson found learning Spanish enjoyable, history was more challenging. Her favorite animal is the elephant because they are “super cute, are able to do cool things with their trunks, and have a very impressive memory,” said Branson. For fun, she enjoys hanging out with friends, eating at restaurants, shopping or chilling at home with friends. She also likes to ride around her small town and listen to music to relax. 


Looking back, Branson says her junior year was the most difficult academically. She advises incoming first-year students: “Continuously work hard because it will all be worth it and allow for more opportunities in the future. Also, enjoy every moment you have in high school with your friends, family and everyone around you because as cliché as it sounds, it truly does go by quickly.”


“I expected to make some good memories in high school,” Branson says, “but I did not expect to have some of the best times of my life with my basketball teammates. Everyone dreams of winning state championships in their sports, but I never expected to be blessed with winning two in my high school career. These are times and people that I will never forget.”


Tyson Tarpley named Lipan High School’s 2024 salutatorian

LHS' 2024 salutatorian is Tyson Tarpley. He says his biggest challenge through high school was maintaining a high GPA while taking many dual credit courses. Because not many students achieve this designation, Tarley hopes being a salutatorian might open more doors to scholarships as he furthers his education.

Tarpley is the first person in his family to attain the designation of salutatorian. He was in FFA, a member of the National Honor Society for three years and was class president his senior year. He played basketball, baseball, golf and one year of cross country, and he was part of both state champion basketball teams for the last two years. "I didn't expect to be a back-to-back champion in basketball when I first started my high school career," Tarpley said. He also participated in UIL in mathematics and number sense, advancing to the regional meet in both events while making time for youth activities in his church and riding ATVs with his family. 

"I plan to study land surveying and geospatial technology at Dallas College and obtain my associate degree," Tarpley said. In pursuing a career in land surveying, he would like to have his own business in the future. Math is his favorite subject, and English is his most challenging.

Tarpley spends time with his friends, girlfriend and family for fun. His favorite pet is a cat; to relax, he listens to music or enjoys being outdoors in nature.

Tarpley advises incoming first-year students, "If you want to try something new, then do it and soak it all in. There are only four years of high school, and it goes by quicker than you think."