Ryker Thompson, the 18-year-old Stephenville valedictorian, is leaving behind a tall task for the valedictorian who follows him. Thompson, who was very involved at Stephenville High School, spent all four years as class president, spent this past year as student body president, was a 3-year letterman in baseball, an Eagle Scout, a Texas Boys State attendee and was selected by Texas Christian University to compete in the Neeley School of Business High School Investor Challenge where he managed a $100,000 virtual portfolio he presented at TCU last month. The Erath county native hasn’t only been preparing for graduation this week.
“We have graduation and the regional finals this week to go to state in baseball so it’s been pretty crazy,” Thompson said Tuesday.
While at SHS, Thompson has made some memories that will last a lifetime.
“I had some great moments in baseball. It was really cool to play at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington as a junior and then also making history as a senior with the baseball team advancing to the Regional Finals,” he said.
Thompson also created some firsts as student body president.
“We initiated the first time to sell reserved and painted parking spaces to seniors and we hosted a prom for the senior citizens of Stephenville,” he said.
But being that involved had its challenges.
“It was really hard to balance everything I was in," Thompson said. "Sometimes I would get over-involved and it would really stress me out.”
He credits his success to his two brothers, Jace and Cale.
“Jace was the valedictorian at SHS back in 2004 and then served as student body president at TCU. Cale played collegiate baseball at Howard Payne University. They set the bar so high that I was constantly challenged at a very young age to work hard in academics and in athletics,” he said.
Thompson’s plans after graduation consist of attending TCU and majoring in finance with a minor in Spanish. This summer he will study abroad with the TCU Honors College in Seville, Spain. The thing Thompson will miss most about Stephenville is the type of community it is.
“I’ll miss some of my friends and the community of course. Stephenville being a smaller town everybody is tight knit. It’s a close community,” he said.
In five years Thompson plans to be in the work force with a finance degree and also expects to be enrolled in graduate school. Eventually he would like to be a college business professor.
“It’s exciting to be able to choose your own career and path," he said.
On Saturday, Thompson will give his valedictorian speech to the class of 2013.
“I’m not nervous at all. I wrote it over the Memorial Day weekend so it’s not last minute," he said. "If anything I’m more excited to read it. I just hope the audience actually laughs at my jokes.”