Bulldogs News · North Dallas student profile: Valedictorian Elizabeth Tan

North Dallas valedictorian Elizabeth Tan and her sister, Gina-Therese Tan.


One of the outstanding students at North Dallas High School is senior Elizabeth Tan, who was this year’s Class of 2019 valedictorian.

Elizabeth said she plans to attend the University of North Texas in Denton. Her activities this school year included Academic Decathlon, UIL Science and the Chess Club.

When asked how North Dallas prepared her for next step in life, Elizabeth responded, “North Dallas has set me on the first steps toward self-independence in teaching me the self-advocacy that I will need going onward. Coming to this school has also taught me that there are numerous paths and ways to get where you want to in life. It is a lesson that I will keep in my heart going forward as I strive to achieve my dreams.”

Aasked if she was going to come back and visit North Dallas, Elizabeth said, “Yes, definitely.”

Elizabeth took a few minutes recently to ask some questions about herself:


Valedictorian Elizabeth Tan shakes hands with North Dallas Principal Katherine Eska after receiving her diploma.


Elizabeth Tan

Age: 17

Grade: 12th

College you are planning to attend: University of North Texas (Denton)

Major you are considering in college: Computer Science

Middle school attended: Dan F. Long MS (Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD)

School activities: Academic Decathlon, UIL Science, Chess Club

My hobbies are: drawing, reading, writing

I’m most proud of: being the first in my family to go directly to a four-year university the fall semester after high school

My favorite classes are: science and history

The two people I’d most like to meet are: my pen pal Alison and Kristin

My favorite restaurant is: Hanabi Ramen

My favorite movie is: “A Dog’s Purpose”

My favorite musical artist is: singer Kashitaro Ito

I wish I knew how to: mold figures out of clay

If I could travel anywhere, I would go to: Japan

The best advice I ever received was: Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, go out and find them.

The person that inspires me is: my sister, Gina-Therese Tan

One thing people don’t know about me is: I like learning about the people of history moreso than the events that surround them.

What are your thoughts on being the valedictorian in the senior class?
I wasn’t expecting to become valedictorian as I had been the salutatorian for my junior and senior year. When I found out that I was valedictorian for graduation, I freaked out. Even now, I’m still shocked. However, I am eternally grateful to everyone that has helped me get here.

What do you attribute your success to?
My friends, family, and the teachers at North Dallas. Without them, I would never have had the drive to work as hard as I have been in school.

How difficult or challenging was it to maintain your high grades?
It was difficult to overcome senioritis, but by setting regular reminders on my phone, I was still able to get my work done. Of course, senioritis made me procrastinate more than I usually did, but I managed.


Elizabeth Tan (front, left) and Catherine Cruz. (Back row, from left) Alexis Galindo, My Nguyen, Huong Le, Linda Nguyen, and Laura Nguyen.


How happy are you with your senior year?
My senior year was probably the year I was most active in the activities at North Dallas, despite being swamped by stress for college things. If anything, doing more allowed me to get to know more people and left me feeling more fulfilled with my senior year than if I had just settled for going home straight after school everyday. I wouldn’t say there’s anything I regret. If there’s anything I could change, I would have gone to the senior activities and hung out with my friends more, but I’m still in touch with them, so I don’t think that opportunity will be going away anytime soon.

What are you going to remember most about North Dallas?
The people.

What were your top three or four favorite or funniest moments at North Dallas?
1. The camera focusing on Modesto Ottenwarden while he was jumping up and down at graduation and Celis Ordonez dabbing next to him.
2. My friends and I giving a card to Ms. Naig for her birthday.
3. Advancing and competing at Academic Decathlon Regionals with my friends
4. Building a robot in the robotics club in my sophomore year and watching it race down the hall.

Any final comments?
To all the juniors that are soon to be seniors: Don’t overestimate that amount of time you have. Get college applications done as soon as possible, get friendly with your counselor and with Ms. Burns because you will be seeing them A LOT if you want to go to the college of your choice and have money to pay for it. Otherwise, just try to have as much fun as you can.


North Dallas valedictorian Elizabeth Tan speaks to the class at graduation.