Victor Miranda, a 2016 Rio Rico High School graduate, will attend Harvard University this fall to pursue graduate studies in chemical biology, the Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District said.
After graduating RRHS as the valedictorian of his class, Miranda earned a bachelor of science in microbiology with a minor in biochemistry from the University of Arizona in May.
“He was one of our top students who wondered how well he would do outside of Rio Rico,” said Teresa Potter, Miranda’s Cambridge and AP chemistry teacher at RRHS. “He shined like I knew he would. He seized and crushed every opportunity, which led him to Harvard.”
SCVUSD Governing Board member Rene Ramirez, a former German teacher at RRHS who taught Miranda and coached him on the Hawks chess team for four years, called him “a magnificent critical thinker and a very dedicated student.”
Ramirez recalled the time at the Arizona state chess championships when Miranda led the No. 15-seeded Hawks to an upset 3-2 victory over Barry Goldwater High School by winning a game in which “everyone crowded around his table in disbelief to watch him win handily.”
“He went on to become a professional player and win money at the North American Open in December of that same year,” Ramirez said, referencing an international tournament held in Las Vegas every year.
Potter added that Miranda told her that “opportunities are out there if students will just do it. He is honored that he can be that example for other Rio Rico students.”
(From a news release submitted by Shannon Enciso of the Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District.)