ECHS Top Grads 2019

First-Ever ECHS Top Grads
By: Todd Martin

The top graduates of the first Early College High School senior class in Killeen ISD are aware of their historic status and hope to inspire others to follow their impressive lead.
Mohammad Khan is the valedictorian and Joshua Munroe is the salutatorian of the Class of 2019 for the KISD Early College High School, now completing its fourth year and graduating its first class.
Both attended Reeces Creek Elementary School and Patterson Middle School before applying and receiving selection through lottery in the inaugural ECHS class.
Khan was ranked first academically from the start, but said “I knew I would have to work hard among my peers.”
“It’s really a prestigious honor,” said Munroe, who was at one time tied for the top spot and as low as fourth, before finishing second. “This is such a supportive network. People guided me along the way.”
“It’s so important,” said Khan, “to represent Early College High School with humility and integrity as the first valedictorian.”
The son of Ausaf and Shabnam Khan immigrated to the United States with his family as a 6-year-old from Pakistan. He considers English his third language after Urdu and Hindi.
He praised his close-knit family and the Muslim community in Killeen for providing him support. “I wouldn’t be in this position without them,” he said.
Munroe grew up with grandparents Raymond and Amy Santos, natives of the Philippines, his mother Aimee Munroe and aunt Jasmine Santos. His family also gave key support and nurtured an open-minded environment.
The two top seniors spoke highly of friends and educators and said they hoped to bring encouragement to their peers when they deliver speeches during graduation ceremonies.
“Really my motivation has been to make myself and my family proud,” said Munroe. “In middle school, I didn’t really think something like this was possible. It was important for me to keep telling myself and hearing that I could do it.”
“I always wanted to finish No. 1,” said Khan. “It will make my family and the Muslim community proud. The school has provided support and structure and broadened my worldview.”
“I want to share my journey, to encourage my peers to strive for success and don’t let high school be your biggest win,” the valedictorian said of his speaking plans.
“I want to push the idea that we will make history for the whole planet,” Munroe said. “We can make a positive change in the world.”
Munroe plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio to study English in a pre-medical program. Khan is headed to Texas A&M University to study biomedical science in pursuit of a career in radiation oncology.
Killeen ISD Early College High School graduation is set for 1 p.m. Friday, May 31 at the Bell County Expo Center.