Over the past two weeks we’ve featured the valedictorians and salutatorians from 15 area schools. Cistercian valedictorian and Preston Hollow resident Zach Horton couldn’t be reached at press time, but that didn’t stop him from sending his answers to our questionnaire anyway. For his thoughtful replies, jump!
Valedictorian: Thomas “Zach” Zachary Horton
College: Dartmouth College
Expected major: International business, languages
Who was your most influential teacher and why? Mr. Peter Saliga, my form master at Cistercian Preparatory School, was perhaps my most influential teacher, though, without a doubt, virtually every teacher at Cistercian had a significant impact on me. Mr. Saliga influenced me in particular, however, because he was my proverbial Virgil to my form and me, all teenage Dantes. He was not only a challenging history teacher on the academic front, but also, and more importantly, a mentor, friend, and spiritual guide throughout the course of my high school career. There are certainly few other teachers with whom one can play ultimate frisbee at one moment, and then carry on a philosophic dialectic concerning the faults of existentialism or empiricism the next. Mr. Saliga is that kind of guy.
What will you miss the most about high school? I will miss the people first and foremost. All of my peers and teachers alike. The incredible sense of community I was immersed in at Cistercian was (and still is as a new alumnus) amazing. In addition, I’ll certainly miss the actual place — Cistercian has a beautiful campus, and, and having spent so much time there, I will miss just being there. Between the people, who were, in essence, my family, and the place itself, Cistercian was truly my home for these past two years. That I will miss.
What are you looking forward to the most about college? I’m most looking forward to the change of pace. I’ve got mixed feelings about it, yet at the same time, I keenly await the opportunities. With independence comes the responsibility to choose wisely, but I think that that responsibility will be invigorating – the ability to determine my way through college in matters academic, extracurricular, and social will, no doubt, be much different from high school, and that I look forward to.