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Northeast Times | October 5, 2022

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An anesthesiologist, an engineer, an entrepreneur and an attorney.

Those four professions represent the future for the Class of 2020 Valedictorians and Salutatorians for Cedar Hill High School (CHHS) and Collegiate High School (CHS), respectively.

Graduation ceremonies are scheduled to be held on June 25 at the Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts.

The Valedictorians are Xandria Johnson (CHHS) and Mark Crummel (CHS), and the Salutatorians are Hannah Ethridge (CHHS) and Richard Cardoso (CHS).

Johnson earned a full academic scholarship to Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) in Prairie View, Texas – the oldest public Historically Black College & University (HBCU) in Texas.

“I am really grateful to be the CHHS Class of 2020 Valedictorian,” Johnson said. ”It was an expectation because grades are really important in my household.”

Johnson plans to attend medical school and eventually become an anesthesiologist. She’s always been interested in the medical profession, but the COVID-19 crisis has strengthened her belief that it is the right choice for her.

“It makes me want to help more,” Johnson said.

Johnson is the historian for the National Honor Society and the varsity captain of the CHHS Girls Soccer Team. She earned All-District Honors as a junior and a sophomore.

CHHS Principal Jason Miller said it will be an honor to recognize Johnson and Ethridge this year.

“It comes down to making moral, ethical, sound personal and educational decisions along with a constant focus on the goal of doing their absolute best,” Miller said. “ Their obvious achievements of mastery on multiple assessments wasn’t a fluke, nor were their talents on stage or the field. Receiving honors in the classroom, on the stage or on the field clearly indicates that both Xandria and Hannah fully understand what consistency and dedication can do for an individual.”

Crummel will attend the University of Texas-Austin with plans of studying Computer Engineering or Petroleum Engineering. He credits the STEAM classes that he had at Collegiate with motivating him to become an engineer.

“Attending Collegiate has allowed me to have an amazing high school experience,” Crummel said. “It was certainly a beneficial adventure where I made friends and learned skills. The world always needs engineers to help envision the future and make the future a reality.”

Crummel credits his mother, Mildred Romualdo, with encouraging him to succeed academically.

“Becoming the Valedictorian was a big accomplishment,” Crummel said.  “I worked pretty hard toward it. You’ve got to have the willpower to do it.

Said Collegiate Principal Heath Koenig, “ Mark has always sought advice and feedback to grow and succeed. He welcomes it and uses it. He is driven and hopes to make the world better. He is a great analyst and thinker and will make a splash when he finishes college.”

Ethridge received several honors, and she earned a U.S. Constituting America Scholarship, a Texas Dance Educators Association Scholarship and a Tom Landry Scholarship. She passed two Advanced Placement exams. She is a member of the National Honor Society.

Last month, she won the solo division as a member of the Cedar Hill Highsteppers Dance Team at a national competition in Hawaii.

Ethridge plans to study Business and Dance at Pepperdine University, located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California.

“It definitely means the world to be salutatorian,” Ethridge said. “Ever since middle school, I set a goal to be at the top of my class, and I’ve been blessed to hold the No. 2 spot all throughout high school. I’m filled with gratitude when recalling the encouraging teachers of CHHS.”

Cardoso enjoys dedicating his time to serving Collegiate High School, the City of Cedar Hill and First Baptist Church in Duncanville.

He served as the President of the National Honor Society at Collegiate as well as Collegiate’s Student Council Treasurer. He was also a member of the Mayor’s Teen Council.

This summer, Cardoso plans to work with the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington D.C.

Cardoso has been accepted into both Yale University – an Ivy League School in New Haven, Connecticut – and Rice University in Houston. He will choose between those two universities, with plans of becoming an attorney.

“Becoming the Salutatorian means a lot to me because it shows how much work I’ve put in,” Cardoso said. “It’s a good reminder of the people who helped me along the way.”

Koenig said Cardoso has done excellent work throughout his years at Collegiate.

“Richard has been pursuing and succeeding at any form of preparation for his future,” Koenig said.  “Richard has always cared about growing himself and those around him”