Valedictorian honor a bonus for NHS graduate

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NATCHEZ — Consuelo Roman wanted the life of her son Esteban Roman Jr. to be easier than hers was, so she always emphasized doing well in school.

The Roman family is originally from Mexico, but in 1992 they moved to Tennessee, where Roman was born. The family moved to Natchez in 1997 and enrolled Roman in the Natchez-Adams School District.

Thirteen years later, Roman is Natchez High School’s valedictorian.

“That is what she had pushed me toward, to do well in school,” Roman said. “I was reared to make good grades.

“That is basically what got me to this point.”

When he was named valedictorian, Roman said it was only a bonus to the honor of graduating.

“Graduation was a special moment in my life because I was happy to make my parents proud,” Roman said. “To be valedictorian on top of that just made it even better.”

Both of his parents, Esteban Roman Sr. and Consuelo, said they can see pushing him to achieve in school has paid off. Roman finished with an approximate 3.96 GPA.

Roman first knew he was in the running for valedictorian in the 10th grade, when a transcript pointed out he was the No. 1 student in the class.

“I never imagined that I would get it, though, because there were other people that I felt did more than me,” Roman said. “But I guess I did what I had to do, and it turned out that way.”

While at Natchez High, Roman enjoyed hanging out with his friends and playing soccer, but he always put schoolwork first.

“Study is, of course, my priority,” Roman said. “I always wrote papers or studied before going to soccer practice.”

Managing his non-study time turned out to be easier than he expected.

“Most of my friends blended in with soccer, so that made it easier on me,” Roman said.

Roman, who played soccer since he was at Robert Lewis Middle School when his friends asked him to play, said his favorite year was when he was in ninth grade.

“That was the second time we won district,” Roman said. “It was when I really improved a lot. I was playing every single minute of every single game.”

While at Natchez High, his favorite classes were with teacher Shannon Doughty at the Fallin Career and Technology Center.

“Her classes were just fun,” Roman said. “I like messing around with computers.”

Roman, who wants to be either an accountant or a computer engineer, plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Natchez Campus in the fall.