Get to Know: Tomball Star Academy’s Valedictorian & Salutatorian

TOMBALL –  Tomball Star Academy Valedictorian Natalie Halaris and Salutatorian Emily Wiley will lead the way during TSA's graduation ceremony on May 26. Let's get to know the two seniors.

Tomball Star Academy, Tomball ISD’s Early College High School, provides a rigorous, supportive learning environment that blends high school and the first two years of college. Students have the opportunity to earn up to 60 college credit hours and an Associates of Art degree by the time they graduate from high school free of charge.

Representing the second-ever graduating class as its Valedictorian and Salutatorian are Natalie Halaris and Emily Wiley, respectively.


NATALIE HALARIS
Tomball Star Academy
Valedictorian

What are your plans after you graduate from Tomball Star Academy? 
Right after I graduate, I plan to go into a very long hibernation. As for the fall, my plans are still a little up in the air, but it's currently looking like I will attend UT-Austin. I am interested in pursuing business, and I would also really love to do a semester abroad!

What has been the best part about attending Tomball Star Academy?
Tomball Star Academy has provided me with such a formative education, where I have been taught how to think rather than what to think. But the best part definitely has to be my peers and my teachers. I have built such personal connections with the people around me that will accompany me forever.

What will you miss the most about high school?
It is truly the loss of this community that my heart will grieve the most after I graduate. I could walk into any classroom or office at TSA and feel completely comfortable. The relationships I've built and the memories I've made are truly unforgettable and irreplaceable.

What did you learn from your high school experience that you will take with you into college?
Time management! (as I'm writing this totally past when I was supposed to)

Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank the teachers and administration at my school, all of whom seriously, seriously far exceed the requirements of their job descriptions. Even the teachers who have not taught me personally have been there to support me (as well as the entire administration!). And the teachers who have, my education is the greatest gift I could have ever received from you, and I will eternally be grateful. I wish I had more words to express my genuine and boundless appreciation.

Where will you be attending College? 
I've been accepted by UT-Austin, but I am still exploring my options.

What is your major?
I intend to pursue a business area of study, but have not declared my major yet.

 

EMILY WILEY
Tomball Star Academy
Salutatorian

What are your plans after you graduate from Tomball Star Academy? 
After I graduate from Tomball Star Academy, I plan to attend college to become a Pharmacist.

What has been the best part about attending Tomball Star Academy?
The best part about attending Tomball Star Academy is earning college credit hours that will allow me to graduate from college sooner. 

What will you miss the most about high school?
I will miss seeing my friends every day.

What did you learn from your high school experience that you will take with you into college?
I have learned time management skills during my high school experience that I will take with me into my college experience. 

Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank my family for encouraging me to work hard and being there to help me when I needed it along the way. I would also like to thank my teachers for helping me when I needed it and preparing me for what is to come. 

Where will you be attending College? 
I will be attending Texas A&M University.

What is your major?
My major will be Biology.


ABOUT TOMBALL INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Tomball ISD educates students to become responsible, productive citizens by providing innovative, individually rigorous, and personally valuable educational experiences. Founded in 1908, Tomball ISD now encompasses 83 square miles in northwest Harris County and southwest Montgomery County, and is located approximately 30 miles from downtown Houston. The district currently educates over 20,500 students at 22 campuses.