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Forged Bonds, Soared Achievements: Lake Belton High's Class of 2024 Top Graduates

Seniors Arun Rajendra and Avery Cabaniss from Lake Belton High School emerge as the top graduates for the Class of 2024. The duo fondly recalls a history class disagreement during middle school, a moment that unexpectedly forged a lasting bond between them.


Valedictorian Arun Rajendra, son of Rajendra Kurusanganapalli and Sangeetha Ranganath, attended Lakewood Elementary and North Belton Middle School before joining Lake Belton High. This Mathnasium instructor has a passion for martial arts and previously held roles as a Boy and Eagle Scout, later becoming a Troop Guide. Rajendra has also been actively involved in basketball and served as the Vice President of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) during his high school years.


Rajendra reflects on how high school served as a turning point for him, emphasizing the importance of focus and determination in achieving great results. With acceptance into the McCombs School of Business—Canfield Business Honors Program, he plans to pursue studies in finance, data science, and statistics with the hope of a career in investment banking or private equity hedge funds. His memories and relationships with peers and teachers have profoundly influenced his outlook. 


Rajendra reflects on how his high school experience has influenced his values, emphasizing the impact of memories and interactions with peers and teachers on his overall perspective on life. He expresses deep gratitude to his parents for their steadfast support, particularly acknowledging his father's assistance with his Eagle Scout Project and his mother's continuous encouragement and guidance through life's challenges.


Avery Cabaniss, daughter of Robb and Jennifer Cabaniss, dedicates her summers to teaching children how to swim. She holds leadership roles as the President of the National Honor Society and Treasurer of the Student Council, contributes to the prom committee, and finds fulfillment in volunteering with four-year-olds at Temple Bible Church.


Cabaniss acknowledges her strong academic drive and perfectionist tendencies, confessing to always striving for perfect scores and diligently completing corrections, even when unnecessary. High school has played a significant role in shaping her values, as she has learned to navigate friendships and cultivate meaningful relationships with diverse friend groups. 


Coming from a family of Aggies, Cabaniss intends to enroll in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She takes pride in exploring her identity beyond academics, crediting her involvement in the church youth group and her faith for grounding her perspective. She emphasizes that her Christian beliefs have significantly shaped both her and her high school journey. She is grateful to know that her achievements do not define her. Cabaniss regards her mother as her primary source of support and is grateful for her guidance in overcoming life's obstacles and handling stress.




May 16, 2024