Murphy Student is Wylie High School’s Salutatorian
Murphy resident, Victoria Bradley is the salutatorian of Wylie High School class of 2018. In her graduation speech, she prefaced the crux of her speech with a bit of speech writing insight and humor, “…Instead of forcing everyone to sit through a cliché-filled speech, I’m going to take something that seems really basic and hopefully make it have a little more flavor. If it doesn’t work, well…there’s a reason I’m not valedictorian.”
She compared the production of coffee to life as a high school student. She pointed out the importance of environment and seeking support from others. She concluded her speech by saying, “…Class of 2018, next time you need a cup of coffee to get you going, instead of focusing on how tired you are or how much work you still have to get done, focus on taking control of your environment and building a support system with those you love.”
Victoria has a succinct secret to her academic success, “Work hard and get your assignments done before playing.” She was a member of the following organizations: National Honor Society (2016 –present), National Technical Honor Society (2016 – present), SkillsUSA Quiz Bowl, SkillsUSA Applied Engineering Team, Society of World Languages, marching band and wind symphony. She served in leadership positions in SkillsUSA and band. She attended a Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference and was a mentor of SEGway presentations. She attended STEM summer camps and activities. She was a Commended National Merit Scholar, All A Honor Roll (2014 – present), All Region and All Area French Horn Player, WISD Award recipient for Pre-AP Chemistry, French I, Geometry and Human Geography.
She shared a few favorite memories from high school: “Marching at WMI and seeing the crowd’s reaction when we started singing.” She counts the trips she took with her school affiliations, such as band trips to New York and Chicago and Corpus Christi with SkillsUSA, as top memory makers. Her advice to incoming freshmen is to get involved, “It will be no fun if you are just doing school all the time.”
Regarding how she has changed over the last four years, she said, “I have become more outgoing and willing to talk to people I wouldn’t have talked to four years ago. I have more experience. I see that the world isn’t scary and you can be yourself in it.” She credits much of that confidence to her experience as a section leader in band. She said, “Being section leader helped me step out more because I was helping others.”
She thanks WHS engineer teacher, Candice Lawrence, for helping her realize that engineering is the career path she will pursue. Victoria will attend University of Texas Austin and will study Mechanical Engineering. She voiced appreciation for English Language Arts Teachers, Leny Philipose and Susan Fajardo for assigning large projects. One assignment was to solve problems in the world. The problem was how to get special needs students help in the school system. Their solution was a student partnership program titled ‘Sidekicks for Heroes’ where the special needs students are the heroes. Another project required them to discover how they felt about different concepts such as is one life worth more than another? She also thanks band director, Todd Dixon for improving her time management skills and encouraging all students to work their hardest.
Victoria’s parents, Greg and Patti Bradley, explain what they did to help their children reach academic success. (They have three children who were ranked in the top 10 of their graduating class at WHS.) “Read to your kids. Limit screen time. Sit down together as a family for dinner without TV or phones. Lead by example, we both work hard so our kids see that.” They didn’t encourage their kids to take a job during high school; they felt that school was their job.
When they saw their daughter giving her speech at graduation, they were amazed at her poise, with her confidence and the way she interacted with others. There were 500 people in her graduating class.
The Bradley’s said they feel very fortunate that they chose a home that is within Wylie ISD. They have lived in Murphy for nine years.