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Currimao: Star on court & in classroom
Sierra High School valedictorian Jasmine Currimao who maintained a 4.3 grade point average will be attending UCLA in the fall. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

Most people will recognize Jasmine Currimao around the Sierra High School campus as the standout point guard of the girls’ basketball team.

But she’s also a star in the classroom.

With a 4.3 grade point average, Currimao is the Class of 2011’s valedictorian, proving that it’s possible to be both an outstanding athlete and an academic all-star.

She’ll attend the University of California at Los Angeles in the fall and major in biology as a possible precursor to medical school.

“Playing sports, being active in school and taking the classes that I did pretty much took all of my free time,” she said. “But it was still something that I was able to do.”

Given everything that she had on her plate, Currimao found it best to keep a schedule outlining all of her activities and class commitments to make sure that she didn’t miss anything – especially during the winter months when she would get home at 11 p.m. from a road trip up to Sonora for a basketball game.

She also spent four years as a member of the Sierra High School band, which took up even more of her time, and was active in the Interact Club – a group that works closely with local Rotary groups to perform community service around town.

While she isn’t sure whether a career in medicine is what she wants to do just yet, she’s setting herself up on that path with her college schedule so she doesn’t have any regrets later if she does end up choosing that field.

“Education is really important today because it’s a sound basis for your future,” she said. “It’s something that’s really important to me.”

The Joseph Widmer graduate – the daughter of Joel and Jesusa Currimao – says that AP biology was her favorite subject in school, and that some of her best memories of high school have been the ones that have been taking place lately, like getting accepted and getting prepared for college and readying herself for delivering the speech at graduation.

During her junior year Currimao was named the MVP of the girls’ basketball team, and has racked up other honors including the Character Counts Award, the Kiwanis Student of the Month award, and numerous Lobo Gold medals.

Even though it’s been a long time since she stepped foot on the campus as a freshman, Currimao urges incoming students to not sit on the sidelines and let what could easily be the best times in their life so far pass them by.

“Get involved in everything that Sierra has to offer and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you,” she said. “It’ll make your time here that much better.”