Pomp and circumstance!
Ricotta takes top CHS academic honors

       Coronado High students Natalia Ricotta and Bryce Buchanan are both straight-A students, but Ricotta edged out Buchanan to become valedictorian in the Class of 2006 with a 4.7 grade-point average to his 4.6.
       Their grades are higher than 4.0 because of the extra value given to honors classes (which both of them took).
       Both students credited their parents for stimulating them to pursue excellence.
       Ricotta will attend Stanford University in California, where she will major in linguistics. She is already “pretty fluent,” as she put it, in Spanish as well as English, and hopes to learn the languages used by three of the largest populations in the world - Chinese, Swahili and Hindi. She also hopes to take advantage of a study-abroad program that would let her spend time in China, Africa or India.
       For his college career, Buchanan is trying to decide between CU Boulder and Washington University in St. Louis. He could study his favorite subject - civil or architectural engineering - at either school, but Washington, being a small (Division 3) school would give him the opportunity of continuing to play football and track.
       The Westside Pioneer asked five questions of each of the two scholars: 1) Name your high school activities and distinctions; 2) What are your post-high school plans? 3) Who do you credit for helping you attain your high level of achievement? 4) What was your most valuable high school experience? 5) What's the secret(s) for getting good grades?
       Activities/distinctions: TAP, student tutoring for disabled kids; National Honors Society; teacher assistant; co-leader of campus Bible study; and volleyball. Third in the regional National History Day competition during freshman year; Freshman of the Year for Spanish, history, science, and math; Outstanding Junior for Brown University and CU Boulder; and Outstanding Junior Teacher Cadet
       Post-high school: Attend Stanford University this fall.
       Credit: My parents [Frank and Barbara Ricotta] have helped me attain my high level of achievement. They instilled a drive in me to do well and were always encouraging me to do the best that I could.
       Valuable experience: Making so many new friends and getting to meet different people.
       Good-grade secrets: I guess the secret is that there is no secret for getting good grades. It's everything you'd expect. Study hard, do all of your homework, drink a lot of caffeine to get you through late nights. Really, if you want it bad enough, you can achieve it.
       Activities/distinctions: Football (quarterback and linebacker); National Honor Society member; Future Business Leaders of America; track (discus and triple jump); student government officer (treasurer).
       Post-high school: I will attend either CU Boulder or Washington University in St. Louis. I will most likely study civil or architectural engineering.
       Credit: My parents (Mark and Mary Buchanan), for always encouraging me to settle for nothing less than my best, and my sister (Courtney Buchanan, who was Coronado valedictorian in 2002), for laying the groundwork for me to follow.
       Valuable experience: The friendships and memories I developed with my teammates on the football field.
       Good-grade secrets: Turn in all your work!

Westside Pioneer article