Le Blanc, Leon earn valedictorian, salutatorian honors – Port Isabel-South Padre Press


Andrew Le Blanc and Juliana Leon have been respectfully named this school year’s Port Isabel Early College High School Valedictorian and Salutatorian.

Considered an all-around student, Le Blanc has been on Port Isabel’s varsity football team for three years, finishing as captain of the team. He also earned Offensive Player of the Year for District 16 this year. Some of his hobbies include surfing and skateboarding, and he always looks forward to experiencing new things.

Le Blanc selected Harvard as the best opportunity for his future. It has the biggest endowment, he says, so it’s considered to have better resources than a smaller school. The university also has the opportunity to study abroad, said Le Blanc who added that he would like to go to Spain to immerse himself in foreign culture.

Le Blanc is considering on majoring in the field of Computer Science and Economics, or probably more precisely, Quantitative Finance. His aim is to become a managing director of a finance firm and making mathematical models for trades on the stock exchange. Mathematics is one of his strengths and he enjoys solving problems.

He currently works at the Southern Wave Sailing Charters located on South Padre Island, and enjoys the company of his friends in his off time.

Le Blanc said that he is excited to graduate and can’t wait to see how much he will grow as a person and eventually as a professional out in the world. He also looks forward to immersing himself in other cultures, whether it’s on the east coast or in Europe. He believes he will probably live in New York City after graduating college because of the nature of his future work.

“I’m very grateful for my parents, my family and all of my friends as well as my teachers and coaches for all the ways they helped me along the way,” said Le Blanc. “I can’t wait to start my adventure and see what’s out there for me to accomplish and become.”

Juliana Leon, this year’s Port Isabel Early College High School Salutatorian, was born in Ecuador, and due to her father’s occupation, her family moved to the United States when she was about six or seven years old. They lived in Houston and Killeen before moving to the Rio Grande Valley.

Her first year was tough because she didn’t know the language, but the bullying she experienced made her more determined to learn quickly and be able to fit in. She said that those types of experience were a big part of making her who she is today.

At Port Isabel High School, she was secretary of the student council for three years. She was involved in National Honor Society and participated in DECA business competitions (industry-validated competitive events in the career clusters of marketing, business management and administration, finance, and hospitality & tourism). She was also on the varsity cheer team for four years.

Leon plans to attend the University of Texas at McCombs in Austin. The campus is diverse and has a lot of resources and opportunities, she explained. She visited the campus and thinks it will help her become the best version of herself. She also really enjoyed the vibe on campus and around the city.

Leon plans on taking her basics the first year explores her academic options, however, she believes she will veer towards business administration. She sees herself starting her own business following in the footsteps of her family who inspire her to find the business that would be the most rewarding. Her uncle owns a business producing and selling chips.

Her hobbies include going out with her friends and family, exercising in their in-home gym, and waitressing at Calacas on South Padre Island. She has also taken part in the Texas High School Coastal Monitoring Program.

Leon is the oldest of three children, and she has spent each summer traveling with her family to places like New Orleans. Being exposed to different cultures and experiences inspires her to go out and see what the world has to offer. She is leaving her options open as to how her future is going to look and what exactly she is going to be, adding that she’s just eager to get started in figuring all of that out.

“I want to thank my parents for everything they did for me and their unconditional support and for my friends who pushed me to become the best I can be,” said Leon. “And a special thanks for the teachers who believed in me.”

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