TAFT, Texas — A local student is at the top of his class and intends to go to college after a tough loss for him and his family.
Michael Vara is a senior, first in his class at Taft High School, and expects to graduate as Valedictorian.
Being top of his class is only scratching the surface. He plans to go to Texas A&M Kingsville to study music on a scholarship after advancing to the UIL state level for four years in a row as a percussionist. He also loves to sing Country music.
In September of last year, Michael's father died of COVID-19.
"He is definitely watching over all the time," Michael said "he has the best seat in the house. "
The 31-year veteran of the Corpus Christi Fire Department and a life-long resident of Taft worked at Christus Spohn Memorial as a nurse in the emergency room and later became the lead school nurse for Taft ISD.
Elida Garcia Vara, Michaels mother said she see's her husband in her son.
"Michael has a lot of his dad in him, as far as being selfless and humble." She said. "Yes my husband worked for many years, my husband never wanted to be praised, he did what he did."
Michael held a photo of his father up when signing his letter of intent to attend Texas A&M Kingsville, to honor him. He and his mother posed for a picture, with a Taft Greyhounds backdrop and a marching snare.