Cedar Ridge Valedictorian heads to UT, sets sights on computer science industry

Since elementary school Cedar Ridge High School Valedictorian, Arvind Raghavan, immersed himself in the field of computer science by spending countless hours over multiple summers coding, developing, testing and debugging games. His pursuits have put him on a path that now finds him ready to start the University of Texas at Austin as a computer science major this fall.

In middle school, Arvind grappled with fear of making wrong decisions. His fear played a role in the difficult decision he had to make about which high school to attend. His choices included attending Cedar Ridge High School, to which he is zoned, and joining the marching band or transferring to another school for the International Baccalaureate program. He credits the outcome of that decision as an accomplishment he is most proud of.

“My constant fear of making the wrong decision made choosing a high school difficult. Now I realize that success isn’t determined by where you are, but by what you make of it,” Arvind said. “Whatever decisions I make I will be happy as long as I apply myself fully. I now go through life with much less of a fear of failure.”

Arvind held a section leader position in marching band, was a member of the computer science club and competed in computer science UIL. Along with Cedar Ridge, he also attended Forest Creek Elementary and Ridgeview Middle School during his time in Round Rock ISD.

While Arvind is at the top of his class, his academic career was not without its personal challenges. He credits Cedar Ridge High School English teacher Bryan Parker as someone who has made the greatest impact on him after he received a score of 80 on his first essay.

“Arvind is a great student. As teachers, sometimes the best thing we can do for great students is push them to push themselves,” Parker said. “I kept encouraging Arvind to improve his best, and he kept exceeding expectations.”

As the top student in the Cedar Ridge class of 2017, Arvind will be busy as an intern at University of Texas Applied Research Laboratories with his sights set on a career in the computer science industry.