Stafford High School grads plan for college

Stafford High Valedictorian Vanessa Phung, right, will attend the University of St. Thomas this fall. SHS Salutatorian Theresa Tran, left, will attend Texas A&M University.

Stafford High Valedictorian Vanessa Phung, right, will attend the University of St. Thomas this fall. SHS Salutatorian Theresa Tran, left, will attend Texas A&M University.

Stafford High senior Vanessa Phung is the Class of 2016 valedictorian, and senior Theresa Tran is the salutatorian. Both addressed their fellow graduates at the Stafford High Class of 2016 graduation ceremony last Friday.

Phung will continue her educational experience at the University of St. Thomas in Houston where she’ll study biochemistry with plans of becoming a pediatrician one day.

“I’ve told my mom that since I was 6 years old,” Phung said. “I really like kids, and I want to help them.”

Tran will continue a family tradition of attending Texas A&M University in College Station. She’ll major in chemical engineering with plans of becoming a neurologist.

“I really like the brain,” Tran said.

Phung, the president of the SHS National Honor Society, Stafford MSD as a fifth grader, after her family moved to Stafford from Houston.

Tran, a fellow Stafford resident, has attended SMSD since she began Pre-K in the fall of 2002.

Both students appreciated the opportunity to get to know their classmates and teachers in SMSD, where teacher-to-student ratios are favorable.

“I feel at home with these people,” Tran said. “Graduating is bittersweet.”

Both Phung and Tran benefited from the state-of-the-art Stafford College and Career Center (SCCC), a large component of Stafford High School.

Phung took courses at the SCCC’s Health Science Academy and successfully completed an internship at CHI St. Luke’s Health-Sugar Land Hospital.

Tran took four dual credit college courses, free of charge, through a partnership with Houston Community College. As a result she will be a semester ahead of her freshman peers at Texas A&M this fall.

The programs offered at the Stafford College and Career Center include agriculture, food and natural resources, arts, audio/visual technology and communications; business management and administration; education and training; health science; culinary arts; information technology; law, public safety and corrections; manufacturing; marketing, sales and service; welding, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and transportation, distribution and logistics. Four of the academies – law and public service, culinary, welding and automotive – offer dual credit classes ending in a certification through Houston Community College.

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