Hope Harper, Duncanville HS Valedictorian for 2021

Hope Harper Duncanville HS Valedictorian
Hope Harper

Hope Harper, Duncanville HS Class of 2021 Valedictorian, is also a track and field athlete. She belongs to the National Honor Society, and is a proud member of the first Collegiate Academy class to graduate from Duncanville HS since the program’s start four years ago.

Seventy students from the Collegiate Class will graduate with their peers June 7 at 8 p.m. at Globe Life Field in Arlington. The Collegiate Class will enjoy a head start on their education, as they receive both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree from Mountain View College.

Hope Harper Heading for Texas A&M

Hope earned a Century Scholarship from Texas A&M University in College Station. She plans to study biology there, in preparation for a career either in medicine as an OB/GYN, or as a dental orthodontist.

She is the daughter of Clint and Dana Harper of Grand Prairie. Hope’s mother works for Duncanville ISD as their Director of Counseling.

“I would like to shout out my parents, but also my grandparents, Sid and Tommie Harper. They attended all of my cross country meets throughout high school, even though they live in East Texas. I am just so grateful for them and appreciate all they have done for me,” Hope said.

She said one of the benefits from having to learn virtually during the pandemic was that “being home with my family brought us closer together.”

Collegiate Classes Benefits

“Joining the Collegiate program provides great economic benefits for the students and their families,” Hope added. “I would urge any student who’s thinking of signing up for Collegiate classes to remember those benefits. It’s hard work but it’s worth it.”

Another benefit from joining the Collegiate Class was that “we became like a little mini-family, going through the same thing. We were there to help and encourage each other when things got tough, and I know we’ll be lifelong friends,” she said.

Her sports training also helped instill concentration and focus to help her work through some of the tough times, Hope said.

Hope Harper Duncanville HS Valedictorian
Hope Harper

“My cross country coaches Leisa Reed, Moses Pena, and Lindsey Escobar have also encouraged me so much and helped in my journey. I would also like to thank Mr. Taulton in the Collegiate Academy, who made me rethink what the role of a teacher should be and made me feel so heard during my time in Collegiate. Ms. Thomas, Ms.Powers, and Ms. Lee (our collegiate administrators) have worked tirelessly to ensure our success! Truly no one ever accomplishes anything alone,” she added.

Valedictorian Speech

As Valedictorian of the Class of 2021, Hope will speak at the Duncanville High School graduation ceremony Monday night. She said her emphasis will be on the other students and what they have accomplished in spite of all the adversity of the past year.

Before heading to A&M in the fall, Hope will work at Cedar Haven Stables in Cedar Hill, where she performed her summer internship.

“This ranch is a wonderful environment to learn the value of hard work and working with animals,” Hope said.

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Jo Ann Holt
Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.