Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ravi Medikonda scores highest GPA ever in Hillsborough County

Ravi Medikonda isn't just the king of his class at King High School.

He's also the king of all-time grade point averages for graduating seniors in Hillsborough County public schools history.

Remember when 4.0 used to sound pretty good? Forget about that.

A couple of points higher? Nah.

Try 9.3079.

When Medikonda, 17, takes the stage this morning for graduation exercises at the Florida State Fairgrounds, he will walk academically where no other senior has walked before.

"He was an exceptional student, and he was driven to succeed since he was back in grade school or middle school," said Mat Romano, assistant principal at King and coordinator for the International Baccalaureate program there. "He is very conscientious and dedicated to his work.

"If you think about the size of our district and the number of excellent students we have had, for him to be the No. 1 person ever just speaks to the quality of the student and the drive that student has to succeed in not just some classes, but all classes."

Medikonda, whose GPA smashed the record of 9.1540 from last year, shrugs off the accomplishment. It comes in part from packing in plenty of higher-weighted IB classes, in addition to Advanced Placement offerings. An "A" in those classes counts for more than an "A" in regular classes.

"I am proud of myself for having achieved it," he said. "It's more like it gives me a sort of confidence that I can do good in life.

"I can't say that I breeze through everything. It comes down to managing your time and making sure you don't miss deadlines and having things organized. You don't want to wait until the last minute and have to pull all-nighters."

He moved to the United States from India with his family when he was in elementary school. He attended MacFarlane Park Elementary in fifth grade and then moved on to Williams Middle School.

Medikonda hasn't received a B on his report card since he was in the ninth grade, trying to adjust to the rigorous IB program.

He said seeking good grades doesn't take up all his time. He still goes to the movies with friends and was on the swim team.

Medikonda plans to attend Rice University in the fall and hopes to be a doctor. He credits his parents, Sunitha and Rao, for his academic successes.

"They have been really supportive. They always encourage me to do whatever I wanted," Medikonda said. "They always taught me to try my best. If you want to do something, don't just do it halfway. If you are going to try something, go all the way.

"They taught me to be focused," he added. "They always take a lot of care and effort in whatever they do."
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