On the academic side of the story, DeSoto ISD Class of 2022

Class of 2022 valedictorians and salutatorians are a DeSoto high school freshman

(DESOTO, TX) – When the DeSoto Independent School District, students and families gathered for the graduation ceremony on May 23, 2022 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, history was among the sea white robes trimmed in green. The top two students in DeSoto High School’s Class of 2022 were of a hue, in those roles, the school had never seen.

“As far as I know, this is the first time that the top two graduates of DeSoto High School have both been Hispanic women,” Valerie Villacorta said during her allotted time to address her classmates and the crowd.

Villacorta and salutatorian Ancela Soriano both acknowledged where they came from during their opening speeches.

“Thank you mom for inspiring me, thank you dad for teaching me hard work, and thank you to my grandparents for preserving my Mexican heritage,” Soriano said.

Giving half of his speech in Spanish, Villacorta felt it was appropriate.

“Our culture and our backgrounds have played a big part in our lives, so we wanted to speak directly to members of our community who are here with us today who might struggle a bit with English, because without them , a lot of us probably wouldn’t be who we are today,” Villacorta told the audience before his language switch.

DeSoto ISD is a 73.12% majority African-American district. The number of Hispanic students ranks second with 21.88%. For the valedictorian and the salutatorian, being Hispanic is no small feat.

District officials have confirmed that Villacorta and Soriano are the first Hispanic students to be simultaneously named valedictorian and district salutatorian in the same class.

“The district has had Hispanic college graduates in the respective roles individually; however, this year’s valedictorian and salute nominations are a confirmed first in the district,” said communications director Tiffanie Blackmon-Jones.

Valerie Villacorta
Photo credit DeSoto ISD

Villacorta plans to study government or political science and eventually hopes to become a lawyer. She will attend the University of Texas at Austin in the fall. His career goal is personal.

“Certainly the struggles my family went through as immigrants,” Villacorta said. “I want to help people who are in my position and who could contribute to our society, but cannot because of their citizenship status. »

Soriano will attend Dallas College and plans to study psychology in hopes of becoming a psychiatrist.

Ancela Soriano
Photo credit DeSoto ISD

“The mind fascinates me, how people work and understanding why they work that way and how they work that way; I find that really interesting,” Soriano said.

Kudos to Villacorta and Soriano for their accomplishments and for being story makers at DeSoto High School.

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