A bittersweet honor: Scholar-athlete to serve as closing school’s valedictorian

Meet the last valedictorian who will graduate from Saint Francis School

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Justin Loi, a senior at Saint Francis School, earned the highest grade point average in his graduating class.

And for that he was named school valedictorian, the last in the school's 95 years of educating Hawaii students.

"I consider it to be an honor," he said.

Justin says the school taught him life lessons and his parents taught him to invest himself in academics.

“The amount of tutoring I’ve gone through from kindergarten through now, it’s unbelievable! And I’m really thankful for that because it helped me get to this point,” he said.

Saint Francis School became a co-ed campus in 2006. Justin is the second male valedictorian in school history.

He graduates with a grade point average above 4.0.

"I'm really excited to have Justin as the valedictorian. He's a scholar, athlete, leader. He's engaged with the school community," head of school Casey Asato said.

Throughout his high school years Justin volunteered for many extracurricular activities, and played varsity sports, lettering in tennis and swimming.

“I think I liked tennis better,” he said. “I had more friends that made me enjoy tennis better than swimming, which was purely competitive.”

Not lost on him is the fact that this is Saint Francis final senior class.

"I feel kind of sad for the underclassmen that have to go change to new schools," he said.

This is the second honor for the Loi family. Last year Justin’s brother, Brandon, was school salutatorian.

Brandon’s impressed by Justin’s accomplishments.

"Very proud. He's the last valedictorian for Saint Francis. It's pretty big!" he said.

Justin’s GPA barely edged out fellow senior Kelsey Padilla, this year’s salutatorian.

"She also is a wonderful student," Asato said.

In the fall Justin will attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

"I'm going to be double-majoring in computer science and accounting," he said.

Saint Francis seniors graduate on May 25 at the Neil Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Justin hasn’t started writing his valedictorian speech but it will be a simple one.

“Work hard. Don’t slack off. That’s all I got,” he said.

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