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Hyatt, Motta, Chang, Talanga

Mr. Knobl announced today the names of the valedictorians and salutatorians of the Class of 2009.

The valedictorian for the regular academic program is Jamielee’ Dalton Hyatt. She is the daughter of Rose Kilgore of Holiday. Jamielee’ was born in High Point, N. C., and moved to Florida at age 4. She attended Frontier Elementary in Largo and Mittye P. Locke and Cotee River elementary schools in New Port Richey, and Gulf Middle School, before coming to Gulf. She is President of the Art Honor Society, and reports that her hobbies are photography and art. Jamielee’ plans to attend USF and major in biology. The spelling of her first name is unusual, as it ends with a single quotation mark.

The salutatorian for the regular program is Brittany Noel Motta. She is the daughter of Hope and Philip Motta. She was born in New Port Richey and attended Mittye P. Locke and Gulf Middle before coming to Gulf High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, FBLA, and Color Guard, and she played softball in grades 9-11. She works at Dairy Queen. She plans to attend UCF and major in forensic science and criminology.

The valedictorian in the International Baccalaureate program is Alice Beta Chang. She is the daughter of Shoujin Zhang and Yuehua Yang of Odessa. She attended a private Catholic school before coming to Gulf. She plans to attend Columbia University and major in chemistry. Alice is a National Merit Finalist.

The salutatorian in the IB program is Mario Talanga. He is the son of Zeljko and Mira Talanga. Mario was born in Rijeka, Croatia, and came to the U. S. in 1999. He attended Calusa Elementary and Chasco Middle before coming to Gulf. He is a member of the National Honor Society, math honor society, English honor society, and FBLA. His hobby is jet skiing. He works at Publix. He plans to attend UF and major in pre-med.

Our valedictorians and salutatorians are scheduled to speak to students at Gulf Middle School on Friday morning, continuing a tradition between GHS and GMS. They will be honored with a luncheon on April 27.

This year marks the first time Gulf has had separate valedictorians and salutatorians from the International Baccalaureate program and the regular student body. However, two valedictorians and two salutatorians were named in 1998 because of ties for highest grade point averages. You can see a list of almost all of our vals and sals going back to our first graduation in 1924 here.