PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

June 5, 2014

SP valedictorian likes numbers

SABINE PASS — Alexander Defrancis’ family is practically a legacy at Sabine Pass School.

Older brothers Zachary and Jacob were known to excel academically, as was older sister Chelsie. In fact, according to The News archives, both Chelsie and Zachary graduated as salutatorian of their respective classes — Chelsie in 2010, Zachary in 2012.

“They’re known for exceeding expectations,” Defrancis said. “I wanted to be known as much as they were.”

As valedictorian of the Sabine Pass School Class of 2014, it’s safe to say that Defrancis has done so. He credits his parents, Gary and Wanda, for keeping his eyes on the ultimate goal and stressing the benefits of academic success for him and his siblings.

“My mom definitely pushed me,” Defrancis said. “And my dad made sure all of us stayed on track.”

The 18-year-old will head to Lamar University in the fall to study accounting, a subject in which he hopes to eventually obtain his masters before becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He is a UIL Accounting state champion and participated in other mathematics events, including Calculator Applications and Number Sense.

Unsurprisingly, Defrancis’ favorite subject is math. English would prove to be the greatest challenge for the valedictorian, an unmistakable numbers guy.

“Accounting is all logical, and I’m really good with numbers — it comes naturally,” Defrancis, 18, said. “English is a more abstract subject.”

Defrancis stayed active in extracurricular activities during his days at Sabine Pass. He was a member of the National Honor Society and played both football and tennis for the Sharks. Away from school, he was involved with the Catholic Youth League and active in his church, St. Therese Parish in Port Acres.

However, Defrancis never allowed his packed extracurricular schedule to prevent him from reaching his goal of valedictorian. Aside from his parents, he singled out his high school accounting teacher as an inspiration for his success.

“She’s really energetic, and she knows how to teach the subject to anyone,” Defrancis said.

Defrancis is considering remaining in Beaumont to work as a CPA after his graduation from Lamar, although he hasn’t ruled out Dallas or Houston as options.

Deion Adkins is the Sabine Pass School salutatorian.

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA

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