Anthony Tiapon may have just graduated from high school, but his words of wisdom could have come from someone much older.
"I would advise incoming high school students to work hard to achieve their goals, but don't get too caught up in it, and cherish every moment. It flies by," he said.
Tiapon earned the highest grade-point average, making him Liberty Ranch High School's first-ever valedictorian. At Friday's graduation ceremony, he talked about the "plethora" of traditions started by the senior class and the culture its students created.
Tiapon is a lifelong Galt resident, having attended River Oaks Elementary and McCaffrey Middle schools.
He is now headed to California Polytechnic State University, with plans of becoming an architectural engineer in the next decade. Not surprisingly, his favorite subject in school was math, specifically statistics.
Tiapon said the best part of high school was participating in track and cross country, and spending time with his friends.
"The worst part of high school was having to grow up and face the responsibilities of being an adult," he said.
While getting there, he said he had many great teachers, including Mrs. Raybe.
"(She) was a phenomenal English teacher my sophomore year, and I took so much away from her class. In addition to her great teaching, she was very supportive of the sports programs," he said.
He also credits Mr. Macleod for teaching him a lot about math, yet making class fun, and Mr. Box, who helped him decide what he wanted to major in.
Tiapon was a member of the Architecture Construction and Engineering Club and the California Scholarship Federation.
He counts among his favorite memories from high school the Ashland, Ore., trip, watching plays and hanging out with friends.
"Special thanks to the teachers and staff of Liberty Ranch High School for their support throughout my three years, and to my entire family and friends for pushing me to excel and always being there for me when I needed support," he said.
Tiapon's parents are Luisa and Tony, and he has two older sisters, Kelsea and Ashley (a former Galt High School valedictorian).