Justin Palpant is probably the nicest fellow to ever win salutatorian. While a GPA of 5.14 would pump any normal student’s ego, Palpant seems utterly unaltered.
“It’s pretty great to put on college applications, but I’m so nervous to speak at graduation!” Palpant admitted while blushing.
Like most salutatorians, his smarts come naturally. “I never had to excessively study, except for AP US sometimes,” said Palpant. “I just took classes that I thought would be interesting, and those classes happened to be AP and honors. Because I found the classes interesting, the information came easily.” The only class that Palpant found tedious was AP stat because he found the information “useless.”
Along with achieving excellent grades, Palpant participated in Spanish club, Spanish Honors Society and the National Honors Society. Outside of school, he works a minimum of 20 hours a week at Panera Bread and with his church on weekends.
In his free time, Palpant enjoys “hanging out” and playing tennis with Leesville’s other smart individuals: Larry Han (Valedictorian) and Kaighn Kevlin (3rd in the class) “We don’t consider ourselves better than other people,” said Palpant of his crew. “But we do enjoy ranting about our crazy classes, and sometimes having philosophical discussions.”
Next year, Palpant plans to join Kevlin at Duke University with a scholarship, where he will major in mechanical engineering.
Senor Ross, one of Palpant’s favorite teachers, only has kind things to say. “AP Spanish is a family environment and a phenomenal group of Spanish loving students,” said Ross, “But Justin stands out. Not just for his intellect, but for his inquisitive nature, his willingness to make mistakes and learn from them, and maybe even more importantly, for his genuine humility, care and compassion for everyone around him.”