2023-24 Los Fresnos High School Top 10 Students

Top 10

Sydney Pena, Valedictorian


Sydney Pena is the Valedictorian of the Class of 2024.  Sydney’s parents are Gabe Pena and Raquel “Chacha” Pena.


Sydney is the president of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and international qualifier.  She is also the captain and 4-year member for UIL Spelling and Vocabulary team.  Sydney says she is grateful for the memories she has made with friends during school trips for HOSA and UIL competitions.


Sydney is President of Key Club, a member of the American Sign Language Club, National Honor Society, and Rotary Interact through which she served 300 volunteer hours.


Sydney is an AP Scholar with Distinction completing 13 AP courses, a National Hispanic Scholar, and a Texas High School Aerospace Scholar.


Sydney will attend the University of Chicago and will double major in cancer biology and creative writing or political science.  After medical school, Sydney will pursue a career as an oncologist or medical researcher and hopes to also become an author.


Sydney Pena attended Los Fresnos Elementary, Liberty Memorial Middle School, and Los Fresnos High School.

2nd rank


Alexander Vatchev, Salutatorian


Alexander Vatchev is the Salutatorian of the Class of 2024. Alexander’s parents are Vesselin Vatchev and Kristina Vatcheva.


Alexander believes setting a goal is the key to success in the classroom.  Alexander participated in the American Mathematics Competition 10 for four years, placing first in 2021, and later served as the Vice-President for Science Olympiad. 

Alexander is an AP Scholar, as well as an active member of National Honor Society, Student Council, Rotary Interact, HOSA, Gear Up, and was part of the District Strategic Planning Design Team in Spring 2022.  He also played varsity soccer with Honorable Mention All-District Honors while maintaining A-Honor Roll status for all throughout high school.


Alexander will attend the University of Texas at Austin where he will major in Biochemistry.  He plans to attend medical school and pursue a career as a pharmaceutical researcher.


Alexander Vatchev attended Villareal Elementary, Resaca Middle School, and Los Fresnos High School.



rank 3


Isabella Chavez, Third Ranked Student


Isabella Chavez is the third ranked student of the Class of 2024. Isabella’s parents are Luis and Jacqueline Chavez.


Isabella has known she wants to be a doctor since she was a child. Her passion for the medical field was inspired by her own parents.  She was part of the Valley Regional Medical Center Junior Auxiliary Team, the Stanford University Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills Summer Internship, and HOSA Vice-President as well as state qualifier.  She is also an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Hispanic Recognition Scholar.


Isabella says her best memories come from her time with the Mighty Falcon Band.  From moments with friends to leading the group to the 2023 Area G Competition as Drum Major, her time in the band hall will always hold a special place in her heart.


Isabella will attend Stanford University where she will major in Biophysics.  She plans to attend medical school to become a pediatric oncologist or cardiologist.


Isabella Chavez attended Los Fresnos Elementary School, Liberty Memorial Middle School, and Los Fresnos High School.



rank 4

Jonas Apacible, Fourth Ranked Student


Jonas Apacible is the fourth ranked student of the Class of 2024.  He is the son of Joy Samson.


Jonas believes that individuality and setting high expectations are the key to success because, as he says, “The bar is where you set it, so set it high and begin your climb”.


Jonas set the bar high for himself in the classroom and beyond.  Jonas is the recipient of the prestigious Gates Scholarship. He is an AP Scholar with Distinction with 7 AP courses completed, an additional five in progress, and 19 dual credit hours with seven pending completion. 

He served as National Honor Society Vice-President, chair for SMASH club, competed in UIL – Extemporaneous Persuasive Speaking, Computer Applications, Math and Science.  He is a 4-time DECA state qualifier, a member of the LFHS Chess team and ESports. His time as manager of the Boys Swim team and their trip to Austin for the state meet particularly stood out as an experience that he will always remember.


Jonas also served as a student volunteer at Culture of Life Ministries and Secretary of the Filipino-American Association of Brownsville.


Jonas looks forward to attending Tufts University where he will double major in International Relations with a secondary concentration in either Business or Philosophy.  He then plans to attend law school, where he will focus on international or corporate law.  He hopes to represent the United States as a diplomat or in the United Nations.


Rank 5



Grecia Benavidez, Fifth Ranked Student


Grecia Benavidez is the fifth ranked student of the Class of 2024.  Grecia’s parents are Eduardo Benavidez and Irlanda Benavidez.


Grecia’s dedication to academics and volunteering set the foundation for her education journey. She served as an ambassador for RGV LEAD and Girl Scouts, Rotary Interact Treasurer, various service projects, and Our Heavenly Father Nature Club.  Her fondest memory was creating bonds with students after assisting with an end-of-year party for the Special Education department as part of the SMASH Club.


Grecia is an AP Scholar with Honor, USC Bovar Scholar, and Questbridge College Prep Scholar.  She was a DHR Junior Clinical Research Intern, two-time HOSA Pathophysiology State Qualifier, HOSA Chapter Secretary, and two-time UIL Science Regional Qualifier.


Grecia is thrilled to attend Columbia University where she is, “eager to fulfill her passions in humanities and STEM”. She will major in Biochemistry with plans to attend medical school in pursuit of a career in medical research as an anatomic pathologist.


Grecia Benavidez attended Olmito Elementary, Resaca Middle School, and Los Fresnos High School.



Rank 6

Lane Halford, Sixth Ranked Student


Lane Halford is the sixth ranked student of the Class of 2024. Lane’s parents are Mike Halford and Shannon Halford.


Lane is a leader on and off the field at Los Fresnos High School.  Her passion for serving others culminated in 500 community service hours that she carried out through various organizations.  Lane was a NTHS Officer, Junior Class Historian, a member of DECA, Student Council, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Gear Up, Harlingen Youth Group, Key Notes, and South Texas Cotillion Club. 


Lane says the exhilarating experience of participating in various athletic programs with teammates gave her a huge sense of accomplishment.  Lane was a varsity cheerleader, serving as Captain her senior, varsity Track & Field athlete, and a 2-year Diving team athlete.


Lane consistently ranked in the top 2% of students in the Class of 2024 throughout high school, remaining in the top 10 students her junior and senior years. She is a Distinguished Academic Scholar and will graduate with 44 Dual Enrollment hours and 9 AP course credits.


Lane will join members of her family, including her siblings, at Texas A&M University in College Station where she is excited to make memories.  She will major in Business with a focus on finance or accounting, and aspires to work for one of the Big 4 accounting firms.


Lane Halford attended Los Fresnos Elementary, Liberty Memorial Middle School, and Los Fresnos High School.



rank 7

Hannah Mae Harper, Seventh Ranked Student


Hannah Mae Harper is the eighth ranked student of the Class of 2024. Hannah’s mother is Jovie Harper.


Hannah Mae is an AP Scholar competing credits in eight courses, Distinguished Academic Scholar, and Texas high School Aerospace Scholar.


Hannah Mae was a member of National Honor Society and Key Club.  She says the most rewarding experience was her time in the Mighty Falcon Band, where she was a section leader in her junior and senior years.  She also played flute in the concert band since sixth grade.  Hannah volunteers for Cancer Kids First, a nonprofit that helps children battling cancer.


Hannah Mae is looking forward to attending the University of Texas at Austin, where she looks forward to meeting new people and participate in new research opportunities.  Hannah will major in Computer Science with a minor in biology so she can build a career in Bioinformatics with a concentration on cancer.


Hannah Mae Harper attended Laguna Madre Christian Academy, Los Cuates Middle School, and Los Fresnos High School.




rank 8


Melissa Sosa, Eighth Ranked Student



Melissa Sosa is the eighth ranked student of the Class of 2024. Melissa’s parents are Leon Sosa Salvador and Alicia Ramirez Garnica.


Melissa served as HOSA secretary, SMASH club Reporter, Key Club Vice-President, was a member of National Honor Society and Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica.  She was a member of the District UIL Academics Team that headed to regionals in San Antonio in 2023 – a trip well she says was a highlight of her time at LFHS.


Melissa is a Los Fresnos CISD Distinguished Academic Scholar, an AP Scholar with Distinction, a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar, and a Questbridge College Prep Scholar.


Melissa is looking forward to new perspectives and ideas from her peers at Smith College, which was her Questbridge Scholar Match School.  She is interested in pursuing master’s or doctoral degree in either Public Health or Political Science.


Melissa attended Lopez-Riggins Elementary School, Los Cuates Middle School, and Los Fresnos High School.



Rank 9



Nataly Garcia, Ninth Ranked Student


Nataly Garcia is the ninth ranked student of the Class of 2024. Nataly’s parents are Juan Garcia and Kendra Garcia.


Capturing moments for future Falcons visiting Los Fresnos High School was a full circle moment for Nataly Garcia.  Nataly served as the photographer for the Future Falcon Tours throughout high school and represented the Class of 2024 on Student Council as Vice-President. A member of the National honor Society, a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, RGV Lead, Student Council and Key Club, where she also served as the media manager. 


Nataly was a decorated soccer player serving as Varsity Girls Soccer team captain for two years and receiving 2nd Team All-District honors in the 2021-2022 season and 1st Team All-District in 2022-2023 season.


Nataly will continue her soccer career as a collegiate athlete at Southwestern University in Georgetown under the Brown Scholarship.  She is also the recipient of the Magic Valley Scholarship and the Bronze Presidential Service Award.


Nataly will major in communications and plans to travel the world via her Georgetown’s travel abroad program before embarking on a career as a travel writer. 


Nataly Garcia attended Rancho Verde Elementary, Resaca Middle School, and Los Fresnos High School.



rank 10



Andrea Del Carmen Barreda, Tenth Ranked Student


Andrea Del Carmen Barreda is the tenth ranked student of the Class of 2024. She is the daughter of Maria Salazar.


Time spent in the classrooms at Los Fresnos CISD schools shaped the overall education and social experience for Andrea.  Andrea participated in National Honor Society, Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, Rotary Interact, RGV Lead, Key Club, Nature Club, and SMASH Club.


Andrea will graduate with her Associate’s Degree from Texas Southmost College, accumulating over 60 college credits through Dual Enrollment courses.  She is certified in Emergency Telecommunications, is a Distinguished Academic Scholar , and has taken 4 AP courses.


Andrea is hoping to be accepted into the Freshman Research Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin, where she will major in Biology this fall. She wants to gain valuable experience and pursue a forensics certification on her postsecondary path to the research field or forensic science.


Andrea Del Carmen Barreda attended Olmito Elementary, Resaca Middle School, and Los Fresnos High School.