They're No. 1: Noor Wadi, valedictorian of Central High School

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Cape Girardeau Central's valedictorian Noor Wadi and her 1-year-old brother, Salah Adeen Wadi. (Fred Lynch)

SCHOOL: Cape Girardeau Central High School

Parents: Mrs. Manal Elkarmi-Wadi and Dr. Musa Wadi

Post-Graduation Plans: Study biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas

High School Activities: Coexist (co-founder, treasurer, co-president), Beta Club (treasurer), FBLA, Spanish Club (president), Student Senate (class rep), Film and Lit, volleyball (1 year), soccer (1 year)

Honors: National Merit Finalist, academic letters and bars (4 years), National Beta Club Scholarship recipient, Spanish Student of the Year

GPA: 4.24

Favorite High School Memory: Rapping my valedictorian speech.

Favorite teacher and why: Wow. I've probably been asked this question three or 40 times over the past month. ... My immediate answer is always my Spanish teacher, Mrs. Robin Hankinson (Profita!). She helped me turn my interest in a language into a straight love for it.

Role model: My mom; I would be a hobo wandering the streets of Cape Girardeau if it weren't for her guidance and seemingly infinite patience and love for me and the rest of my siblings.

Summer Plans: First and foremost, kick back and relax. After I've done that to the fullest, then I'll say goodbye to my friends (tears) and head off to Jordan to spend the rest of the summer with my amazing overseas family.

What will you miss about High School? The people. My friends, teachers and principal are really what made my high school experience as memorable as it was. I'm forever grateful to have been blessed with such marvelous people in my life for the past four years. They have no idea how much I'll miss them.

Advice to incoming seniors: As much as you feel like the year may be dragging, cherish every second of it. It will be over before you know it.

What your prop says about you: I brought in my baby brother for the photos because he represents my family. My family is essentially what has gotten me this far. The support and loving environment they have provided me with for all 17 and a half years of my existence has been fundamental to my success. Of all seven other members of my family, why did I choose this little guy, you may wonder. Well, because he's the cutest. Also he's travel-sized.

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