GARNER — Given a ledger that included playing soccer and golf and joining the faith club, history club and math club at school and tacking on some community service, a 5.25 GPA might seem tough to fit into the equation.
But that was the high school career for Joseph Giroux.
Giroux shared valedictorian honors with Amber Courtney, granting him the opportunity to make a valedictorian speech.
Perhaps more important than the speech, his GPA also helped a resume that earned him a nearly free ride to the mechanical engineering program at Iowa State. He’s pretty sure he’s the only Garner student heading off to Iowa.
“I don’t know if anyone else is going from this state,” he said with a laugh.
Giroux, who has lived in the area just south of municipal Garner his whole life, visited the school in Ames, Iowa, in February and liked it despite the cold.
He leaves behind memories like getting amped to Thunderstruck by AC/DC before a scocer game and chats with his coach and favorite teacher Jon Sherwin, who taught both his favorite class “by far” (theory of knowledge) and his hardest (IB physics.)
“John Sherwin was my favorite. We really bonded,” Giroux said. “We are a lot alike.”
Giroux said he never really focused on the idea of becoming valedictorian.
“I always just tried to do my best,” he said. “I didn’t think about it until senior year.”
As for managing to find time for everything?
“Honestly I have no clue. I managed to keep my head screwed on and do it all,” Giroux said. “My parents have provided huge support through all of it.”
Along with his parents, he said he also will leave a class that left him with a lot of positive feelings.
“I was really proud of our class because they really brought Garner together and they created a sense of community everyone felt welcome,” Giroux said.
Jahner: 919-829-4822; Twitter: @garnercleveland