Meet Valerie Tran, a senior at Buford High School. Valerie was born in Morrow to Kelly Nguyen and Thanh Tran. Valerie’s family made the move to Flowery Branch when she was 2 years old and have lived there ever since. Valerie attended Flowery Branch Elementary up to the fifth grade until she began at Buford in 2014 for the sixth grade. Valerie has two younger sisters, Emily, 12, and Sophia, 9. 

“My parents heard that Buford was a really great school academically and how it challenged its students for the better,” Valerie said, “which is ultimately why they decided to enroll me.”

Academically, Valerie has excelled at Buford High School. She is currently ranked within the top of her class and has managed to maintain an unweighted 3.9 GPA all while juggling the workload of challenging classes. In fact, throughout her high school career, Valerie has taken a total of seven AP classes with the rest of her courses being honors level. To say the least, Valerie knows how to handle the challenging workload to achieve success.

Valerie’s favorite subject is math. 

“Math is like a puzzle. Once you know how to do the problems and you have all the ‘pieces,’ the work and/or the ‘puzzle’ itself becomes a lot easier to complete,” she said. “Math can be challenging, and I think that’s what makes it fun to me; I enjoy challenging myself and overcoming obstacles.” 

Part of Valerie’s love for math may also be attributed to her favorite teacher — Coach Johson, the AP calculus teacher at BHS. 

“Whenever I am lost, he makes sure that I understand the information before moving on which shows how he cares about each and everyone of his students and how he truly wants us to prosper,” Valerie said. “Coach Johnson makes me enjoy the class even though it may get difficult at times.”

Alongside her dedication within the classroom, Valerie serves as an active member of the student body. Valerie has been involved in FCCLA for four years, National Honor Society for two years, Beta Club for two years, Key Club for three years, National Honors Spanish Society for one year and Spanish Club for one year. Currently, Valerie is the meetings coordinator for FCCLA where she is able to smoothly plan and run monthly meetings.

In fact, Valerie’s favorite extracurricular is FCCLA.

“I love how we are able to go out and help the community as much as possible,” she said. “Once, we went to the soup kitchen and gave out food, which really warmed up my heart knowing that I was able to give back to the community no matter how small or large it may be.”

In her free time, Valerie enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, shopping, taking power naps and finding new music. 

When asked what advice she has for underclassmen, Valerie said, “High school flies by very, very quickly so enjoy it as much as possible. Don’t take the time you had for granted and don’t stress too much about the little things that won’t matter in the future.”

After high school, Valerie plans to attend her dream school, the University of Georgia, where she was recently accepted during the early action admissions process. 

“As soon as I walked on the UGA campus, I knew that I wanted to go there,” she said. “Though the campus is huge and I may get lost, the atmosphere just felt very homey, and it’s not too much like Atlanta.” 

At UGA, Valerie plans to major in either business or biology.

Without a doubt, Valerie Tran is an exemplary student who truly represents the embodiment of a Buford Wolf. Regardless of which route she takes after BHS, Valerie will continue to thrive and achieve greatness, and as a Buford Wolf, we will be proud of her and her accomplishments. 

— Emily Hammond

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