by Madelyn Carter| Co-editor-in-chief
The graduating class of 2012 is the smartest to ever walk Johnson’s halls. With an astounding number of National Merits, and a top GPA at 115, the class has set a new, unprecedented standard for Johnson’s academic achievement. The top students of this extraordinary class will walk among the likes of other ingenious students at prestigious universities next fall.
Courtney Brown will be majoring in Psychology at Rice.
“It was never really like, ‘Am I going to get in, am I not going to get in,’ because I felt like I had worked so hard, given my entire educational career,” Brown said. “As a student, I’ve never really been ‘Oh I don’t know if I’m going to get into college or not,’ it was like ‘Well if I apply there, I’ll probably get in.’ I had a lot of confidence in myself because I had worked so hard.”
Brown also got into the University of New Mexico, and the University of Texas, but chose Rice because of its focus on a quality education.
“I wanted to go to a really good school where I knew I’d get a really good education, because thats really important to me,” Brown said. “When I went to visit there, the atmosphere was just so conducive to learning; it was just perfect for me.”
Rachel Cheong was accepted to both the University of Pennsylvania and Duke, and is still deciding on which renowned choice she should pick.
“[Getting in to those universities] was a complete shock,” Cheong said. “I totally was expecting to go to UT; I can’t believe it happened. I was really surprised, I was just a standard, ordinary high school student.., I think they might’ve liked my essay.”
Chelsea Fernando was also surprised when she got an acceptance letter from Brown University, where she will major in English in hopes to be a writer for television.
“[Applying to Brown] was just a shot in the dark,” Fernando said. “I just thought it was a really good school and I thought my grades were good enough.”
Emma Watson, the actress who plays Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, also attends Brown, which Fernando will be taking full advantage of.
“I tried to rig my dorm service so that maybe I’ll get put in the same dorm as her,” Fernando said. “She’s such a classy lady.”
Though these seniors are aware of how smart they are, receiving their letters of acceptance was still a moment of shock and celebration.
“I was really excited,” Brown said of her acceptance. “I didn’t really say anything, I just kind of squealed a little bit.”
Rachel Cheong experience was a little more nerve-racking.
“I got an office call slip that was like ‘Please call your mother,’ during my economics test. So I finished it really quickly because I was worried, I figured something had happened,” Cheong said. “I finished the test, and walked outside and called her and she said that I had gotten into Duke and I just started screaming in the hallway. Everyone like looked outside, like all the teachers, and they were like ‘Did someone like die?’.
The opportunity to attend an Ivy League college is quite an accomplishment, and nothing to be overlooked. Brooke Nowakowski will be Johnson’s first graduate to attend Harvard University.
“I really don’t feel that’s there’s much of a difference of the specific academic value of the Ivy League education compared to that of a state school,” Nowakowski said. “But what is different is the exposure you have to the speakers, professors, just the talent you have in the faculty that’s available to you as a student, and they make they very clear at any of the Ivys, and definitely at Harvard, which I’ve seen so far. They’re just very out there on the things we’ll be able to do and how accommedating they are to our passions and interests, which I’m looking forward to getting out of my time in college.”