May 9, 2024

Defying Expectations: The Journey of Lexie Clow, Umatilla High’s 2024 Valedictorian

2.9 min read| Published On: May 9th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Defying Expectations: The Journey of Lexie Clow, Umatilla High’s 2024 Valedictorian

2.9 min read| Published On: May 9th, 2024|

Lexie Clow is the 2024 Class Valedictorian for Umatilla High School. She has a 5.47 GPA and is one of the first Cambridge AICE Diploma recipients at Umatilla High School. She is one of only a handful of students to have earned this diploma with the ‘Merit Scholar’ designation.

(Lexie has a 5.47 GPA. She is one of the first graduates of the Cambridge AICE program which was implemented a few years ago by Principal Brent Fraizer. The program allows high school students to take college level courses and earn credits towards a degree before high school graduation.)

During her time at Umatilla High School, Lexie was a cheerleader and competed on both the golf and weightlifting teams. During her junior year of high school, she was the only student to achieve an SAT score which qualified her for Early Admissions at the University of Central Florida, and was accepted into the college of Biomedical Sciences which she will study for her major. She will also study along the Pre-Medical Track all while in her senior year of high school.

This year alone, Lexie has completed 30 college credits towards her degree as well as over 350 community service hours and clinical shadowing with local medical professionals, while still staying involved at Umatilla High School as a part of National Honor Society and Student Government.

(Lexie has over 350 community service hours, is an incredible student, takes part in athletics and is a genuine person. She makes those around her better individuals.)

One thing that may surprise people about Lexie is that she has Narcolepsy. This is a rare and chronic neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control the sleep-wake cycle causing her periods of involuntary sleep, sudden muscle weakness, and vivid dream-like states. As a teenager, struggling with Narcolepsy has not been easy and has affected social relationships for Lexie.

(Lexie has suffered from Narcolepsy but that has not slowed her down at all. She has worked incredibly hard and her commitment has paid off as she graduates with one of the highest GPA’s in Umatilla High School history.)

People who don’t understand the disorder can misinterpret it for laziness, while others find it humorous. For Lexie Clow, she refuses to let this “invisible” disability define her. Her mother Natasha says “Despite the fact that it can cause her low productivity, lack of focus, and anxiety, Lexie has continued to push herself and excel at everything she does. She is a strong advocate for mental health and openly talks about her struggles with anxiety while trying to educate others.

(Lexie is an inspiration. She is a dedicated student, smart, beatuiful and such a strong person for being so open about her struggles with anxiety with others.)

Lexie is not all business though! In her “spare time”, she works as an ambassador for So Sweet Boutique, a prom and dress shop in Oviedo, Florida. It is a great outlet for her to let loose and have fun amidst all her hard work and health issues that she deals with on a daily basis.

Despite having admission offers from multiple Universities and Colleges including the University of Florida, she is incredibly proud to announce that she has decided to continue her path at the University of Central Florida where she will learn from some of the best professors and educators in the world.

(As Lexie walks away from Umatilla High School and closes this chapter of her life she opens up a new one at UCF where she will not doubt do great things in the coming years.)

Lexie is an amazing story of perseverance. When you think of the very word, Lexie personifies it. She has worked so hard despite a disability to achieve one of the highest GPA’s in the history of Umatilla High School and all of Lake County. She is an inspiration and no one is more deserving to be the 2024 Class Valedictorian of Umatilla High School than Lexie Clow.

Congratulations on this great honor and a terrific high school career. We look forward to seeing her do great things in the near future.

Photos Credit – Brenda Anderson Photography

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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