Toscya Williams

Toscya Williams sacrificed to become valedictorian at Sahuarita High. She plans to kick back a bit this summer.

One thing's for sure, when Toscya Williams heads to the University of Arizona this fall, she won't need lessons on time management.

The 18-year-old Sahuarita High School student learned how to juggle well over the last four years on her quest to become valedictorian.

Williams managed a 4.42 grade point average, the highest among her 210 peers. While attending school, she worked 20 hours a week as a server at the Silver Springs retirement community and competed on the school's award-winning dance team, The Jockeys.

Williams — her first name is pronounced Toh-SEE-ah — moved to Sahuarita from Tucson in second grade. She was ranked first in her freshman and sophomore years and was second last year. She and Angelise Garcia have been neck-and-neck for most of the last year and a half. Garcia is graduating with an impressive 4.4082 GPA.

"When I found out I'd dropped to second, I made it a goal to work harder and get first place back," Williams said. 

Over the past year, she's not slept more than six hours a night and she rarely spends time with anyone outside her family, she said.

"If I'm not here (at school), I'm at practice and if I'm not at practice I'm at work and if I'm not at work, I'm at church," she said. "I gave up my social life, but I'm comfortable focusing on my grades, so it's not too bad."

Williams said her parents, Nancy and Will, have always encouraged her to do her best, but she also felt the need to set a good example for her younger sister, Tori, 16, and brother, Trae, 11.

She loved her art, math and psychology classes at SHS and had high praise for English teacher Alexandria Fry and art teacher Joseph Poore, both of whom she described as "inviting."

"I'd come to them a lot for advice," she said.

She plans to major in biochemistry at UA and hopes to become a pediatrician.

"I love children so much and I feel like if I'm a pediatrician I can provide them with care and they could come to be and feel comfortable," she said.

She plans to spend time in New York City and Jamaica with family this summer. She'll also probably spend time catching up on TV shows with her sister, including "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."

If she were to give advice to incoming freshmen, Williams said she would tell them to have fun, figure out who they are and focus on doing what it takes to make good grades.

"They should also establish good relationships with their teachers," Williams said. "It's important to appreciate them. They take the time to enhance your education and it's important to say thank you."

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