Salutatorian prioritizes academics, sets example for young girls

Senior Quinn Hungerford shares love for learning


Quinn Hungerford

On the field, senior Quinn Hungerford (on right) stands beside teammates alumni Amandalynn Garst, and Cosette Brockbank, and seniors Charis Tomboc and Madeleine Miles. Hungerford is a varsity defensive player for the Prosper girls lacrosse team. Hungerford joined the team when she moved to Prosper her junior year.

Senior Quinn Hungerford looks forward to walking the stage at graduation. Even after experiencing an interstate move halfway through her high school career, Hungerford’s love for learning stayed consistent and brought her to be named salutatorian of the class.

With fellow senior Charis Tomboc, senior Quinn Hungerford snaps a picture. Hungerford and Tomboc are on the Prosper Girls Lacrosse Team together. Tomboc highlights her admiration and support for Hungerford in the article. (Quinn Hungerford)

“I feel very honored and proud of myself for being named Prosper High School’s salutatorian, because this achievement reflects all my hard work and dedication throughout high school,” Hungerford said. “It honestly came as a surprise to me, because although I had always been in the top 10, I moved to Prosper at the beginning of my junior year and had multiple transcript errors that were unable to be resolved, so I truly did not expect to rise so high in rank.”

Principal Nicholas Jones revealed the news of her rank to Hungerford a few weeks ago.

“My main source of motivation is my desire to become a successful data scientist, and I know that my path to career success must begin with consistent hard work throughout the school,” Hungerford said. “I also have always loved learning, which has allowed me to not see my academic goals as something I must struggle towards but rather as something that I enjoy working towards. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to receive such a great education, so I have always done my best to make the most of it.”

She has received support and praise from her loved ones.

“I have shown her nothing but love for her accomplishments, even the little ones,” senior Charis Tomboc said. “Sometimes I feel like she downplays what an amazing person she is, but I remind her that she should be proud of who and where she is. Not many people can say they’ve gotten where she is through true integrity and determination.”

Hungerford’s motivation and drive are applauded by others.

“We have never pushed her to achieve – she is truly self-motivated and driven,” mother of Quinn Hungerford, Sabrina Hungerford, said. “She has an innate love of learning, and that has really motivated her along the way.”

Physics teacher Brad Stevenson taught Hungerford in both years of AP Physics 1 and C. Her interest in the STEM field brought her to pursue and take higher-level classes within those interests.

I’ve watched Quinn give nothing but 100% in everything she does. She has a certain tenacity that has gotten her to where she is today. No matter how small the task may be, she always goes above and beyond what she is asked.

— Charis Tomboc, senior

“She has consistently been one of the hardest-working, inquisitive and kind students that I have ever had the pleasure of teaching,” Stevenson said. “While naturally gifted in my subject, she never used that as an excuse to reduce her effort, or not extend her understanding beyond what was required.”

Most high schoolers face the challenge of balance and maintaining hard work in all realms, but Hungerford saw the positives in each difficulty.

“I would actually argue that my extracurricular activities and personal life allow me to handle such a heavy workload at school,” Hungerford said. “Spending my free time with friends, family and teammates is truly what has helped me maintain balance in my life and not feel overwhelmed by my schoolwork. However, to achieve my academic goals, I had to make the occasional sacrifice of losing sleep or coming home early to study rather than stay out late with friends.”

In lacrosse uniform, senior Quinn Hungerford stands with senior Charis Tomboc and senior Mason Hanson in front of the Prosper silos. In the article, Hungerford explains how her extracurriculars and friends made academics less stressful. In addition to lacrosse, Hungerford is the founder and president of the Girls’ Computer Science club.

For extracurriculars, Hungerford is a varsity defensive player on the Prosper Girls Lacrosse Team, secretary of the National Technical Honor Society, a member of several honor societies and competes on the UIL Calculator Applications Team.

“We have always said that school is #1 over sports, working a job, socializing etc.,” Sabrina Hungerford said. “She has done a remarkable job of balancing her interests so that she has time for everything school, sports, and fun.”

For Hungerford, her challenges stemmed from the hurdle of moving states halfway through her high school career.

“I would say my biggest challenge in high school was moving from California to Texas at the beginning of my junior year,” Hungerford said. “This move challenged me to balance my academic workload of six AP classes with making friends, playing on the school lacrosse team, forming a club and adjusting to my new life overall.”

Hungerford founded the Girls’ Computer Science Club and is president. Through the club, she shares her love for data science and serves as a leader for high school girls.

“We’ve taught both of our daughters to be strong independent women,” Sabrina Hungerford said. “We also taught them that they could achieve anything they set their mind to.”

Hungerford exercised the values her parents taught her through her praised self-motivation.

“Quinn has really blossomed since moving to Prosper,” Sabrina Hungerford said. “They say ‘bloom where you are planted’ and that has really been the case for her. Being in a new environment with new opportunities and surrounded by so many other new kids, she really felt that she could make her mark here. The teachers, and particularly her school counselor Mrs. Purdom, have been outstanding and very supportive.”

The move to Prosper allowed for newfound opportunity for Hungerford to pursue her ‘independent’ goals. Through this pursuit, in addition to guidance from her family, she learned lessons and values.

As president of the Girls CompSci Club (and now salutatorian,) I hope to inspire young girls at Prosper to pursue the subjects that they are passionate about, and not allow gender barriers to keep them from achieving their true potential as a student.

— Quinn Hungerford, senior

“Having seen so many younger students obsessing over their rank, I would advise them to continue working hard but never put their mental or physical health at stake in pursuit of meaningless goals like class rank,” Hungerford said. “I have always viewed my education as so much more than a quest for external academic validation, and I truly believe that approaching learning through this lens is what allowed me to naturally succeed in all my classes. It is important to take classes you actually enjoy, not just those that you hope will bump up your GPA.”

Through her love for learning and self-motivation, Hungerford found personal growth and her spot as a salutatorian. Hungerford plans to major in data science at UC Santa Barbara to pursue a career as a data scientist.

“One of the most important lessons I learned in high school was to appreciate every moment because it all passes by so quickly which is why it’s so important to be present in the moment rather than always looking forward,” Hungerford said. “I also learned to take advantage of all the new and intimidating opportunities offered to me because leaving my comfort zone throughout high school allowed me to grow in so many ways.”