Congrats to KHS Valedictorian, Salutatorian

Killeen High School valedictorian, salutatorian
By: Todd Martin
Killeen High School’s Class of 2020 valedictorian rarely stopped in a jam-packed schedule of sports and advanced classes and he loved it.
One might say that Brandon Fox “embraced the grind,” an expression his principal would be proud to hear him use.
KHS Valedictorian Brandon Fox
“I was very excited,” he said of finding out he finished No. 1 in his class. “All the work paid off. I think I just did it through hard work. There were times it was overwhelming, but at Killeen High we like to say ‘embrace the grind.’”
There’s also the matter of growing up in a competitive family. “My sister was salutatorian a few year ago and we do compete,” he said. Allison Fox graduated in 2018 as Killeen High School’s second-ranked graduate.
The son of Todd and Cathy Fox took International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses at Killeen High and managed to work into his schedule football, baseball, soccer and track.
“For me, the schoolwork was work, but the extra-curriculars – the sports and hanging out with friends in IB, that was a lot of fun, that was my release. There are a lot of great memories.”
His dad is a retired Army colonel and the Fox family did make stops in Virginia, Hawaii and Pennsylvania, but Brandon started school at Mountain View Elementary School and after the out-of-state stops, continued at Smith Middle School and KHS.
“I feel blessed to have been at Killeen High all four years,” he said. While he recalled several memories, he said what stands out are the blackout pep rallies the school conducted. “Those were really fun. You could sense the whole school behind you.”
After high school, Fox plans to attend Texas Christian University and enter a business field.
Thinking through his valedictory address, he said he would point out that his classmates made the best of an inconvenient situation and encourage them to remember the four years of togetherness and not the few months of missing end-of-year traditions.
“Don’t let what happened take away from four years,” he said. “Look at the next step and seize those opportunities.”
KHS Salutatorian Rachel Cannon
Killeen High School salutatorian Rachel Cannon was excited to finish ranked second in her large class, but she’ll be the first to acknowledge she wanted to finish No. 1.
“My goal was valedictorian,” she said, “but I knew I had a lot of competition. It felt great to know all my hard work paid off.”
She said her secret to success was asking questions and taking the time to do whatever research was required to learned the content. “I studied a lot,” Cannon said. “I didn’t always understand everything and I had to research and ask questions. I went to tutoring after school a lot.”
The highly motivated student took dual credit and Advanced Placement courses and also competed four years on the tennis team, participated in National Honor Society and volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club.
The daughter of Leonor Cannon plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin and study architecture. She wants to combine interests in math and art and to build homes for family members in her native Philippines.
“I’ll remember all the people who supported me at Killeen High,” she said of classmates and teachers who showed her kindness.
When she addresses her Class of 2020 peers she said she’ll use a combination of humor and motivation to encourage. “It’s OK not to know what the future holds,” she said. “You can still give it all you have.”
The Killeen High School virtual graduation ceremony will broadcast on KISD-TV Spectrum Channel 17 at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 31 and stream online through the district’s website. Both Fox and Cannon will deliver pre-recorded addresses.