McNeil Valedictorian heads to UT, sees alternative energy as field of choice

The 2017 McNeil High School Valedictorian is Larissa Herold. In the fall, Larissa heads to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue a double major of environmental engineering and Plan II honors.

“I have been drawn to engineering because it affords the opportunity to combine disciplines and ways of thinking,” Larissa said. “Plan II is a liberal arts honors program and major which will allow me to have a well-rounded and flexible education. I hope to use my degrees to enter into the field of alternative energy; I think we have a duty to the environment because it gives us so much.”

The McNeil graduate candidate is a member of National Honor Society, ran and competed in UIL track and cross country, served as the campus newspaper editor, competed in UIL for journalism and plays the piano.

“I feel so honored to have been mentioned as a teacher who has had an impact on Larissa. It is difficult to find a single idea that conveys my deep admiration for her,” McNeil English Teacher Linda Hengst said. “She has an eager curiosity for knowledge, and she inspires me. She is a passionate, dedicated, resourceful scholar and I will miss her terribly.”

Another teacher Larissa expresses her appreciation for is McNeil History Teacher Craig Studer, saying he is a teacher she will always remember because of the engaging way he brought history to life. Larissa also conveyed that they share parallel beliefs about the environment.

“I’m looking forward to the new experiences that come with moving into college,” Larissa said. “I can’t wait to see and learn different things because change is exciting!”