For a student who describes himself as a bit of a perfectionist, ending up as the valedictorian of his senior class wasn’t a sure thing as a freshman.

Connor Hargett was ranked fifth his first year at the Greenwood Community High School. His ascent up the class ranks was helped by the fact that three of the four students ahead of him all moved to other schools in the last few years, he said.

But Hargett still had one more person to catch, which he managed to do by the start of his junior year.

Hargett credited getting to the top of his class and staying there to his work style.

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ā€œIā€™m a bit of a perfectionist,” he said. “I try to do the best I can on any assignment.ā€

Being thoroughly prepared for his classes was key, Hargett said.

His advice to incoming freshmen is to always be prepared. Even for topics he had a natural inclination for, studying was essential, Hargett said.

“Even if you take to a class naturally, it is still good to set aside time to review and study.”

He stuck with extra-curricular activities focused on academics through high school.

Hargett took part in the Indiana Academic Super Bowl, a competition in which students are quizzed on topics including math, English, science and social studies. He is part of the school’s English and science teams.

Hargett plans to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical field after college. He wanted to go into a scientific career field because those were the types of classes he found most engaging in high school.

One of those science classes, physics, did give him a bit of trouble. While he had no trouble with the math portions of the classes, he had to work harder to do well in the engineering sections.

Hargett is getting a head start on college as he’ll be spending six weeks doing lab work with an Indiana University professor in the bio-chemistry field at the college he will be attending next fall.

The research will focus on viruses and how they function and spread, he said.

Connor Hargett

Age: 18

Parents: Casey and Jason Hargett

GPA: 4.58

Next: Indiana University Bloomington

Major: bio-chemistry

Career goals: a job in the pharmaceutical field

If you go

What: Greenwood Community High School graduation

Where: Greenwood High School gymnasium

When: 7 p.m. May 26

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.