Tommy Thomas is the epitome of the well-rounded student.
He has been successful in competitive math and plans to be a doctor, but he also has an artistic side, participating in band and piano competitions. He also has an athletic side and is on the varsity tennis team.
But none of those are what’s most important to him.
“My faith has always been my core focus,” he said. “Even with all the extracurriculars I do, this is really what’s important to me – my church and my community. That’s been absolutely huge.”
Tommy is the valedictorian of the Class of 2022. And while he is proud of the honor, it was not something he was pursuing.
“It really hasn’t necessarily been a goal,” he said. “It kind of happened. I try to do the best I can in everything I do, and that includes school.”
Tommy plans to go to Abilene Christian University in the fall and double major in biology and business. He wants to go to medical school and be either an orthopedic surgeon or an ophthalmologist and do eye surgeries.
“In the realm of surgery, I find it really interesting,” he said. “You get to work in a tactile way. Often times, right after surgery you get to see your patients improve. That’s really special.”
Tommy started playing piano around 5 years old and was successful in many piano competitions over the years.
“My mom got me into it,” he said. “I’ve been playing ever since. I really enjoy it.”
He joined band in junior high, and he also joined competitive math, just to see what it was all about.
“I was intrigued at first,” he said. “I thought I would try the class out and see how it goes. I liked the competitive nature of it and traveling with friends.”
He became good friends with Nitin Kalla and Vincent Mercado, who finished No. 2 and 3 in the class ranking. They were competitive but in a supportive way.
“All three of us are pretty close friends,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the usual dynamic of the sort of cutthroat competitiveness in most schools. It’s a pretty cool thing.”
He said he can’t really decide if he likes science or music best, but he thinks being a surgeon will be a good mix between the two.
“I like surgery,” he said. “It’s kind of the confluence of both things – art and the sciences. I do a lot of math things and also artistic things. I equally enjoy both. They are very different, and I like the variety of it.”
By Candy Reagan