Lovejoy High School Salutatorian Learns the Importance of Balance
During the last four years, Anthony Tang, Lovejoy High School’s class of 2018 Salutatorian, feels he has become more open with his community and his school. He said as a freshman he was nervous to try new things. During his junior year, he didn’t make the basketball team and found himself separated from his sports family. However, upon reflection he realizes this event propelled him to try, and enjoy, new activities. One of these new activities was founding ‘Lovejoy Music Medicine’ (LMM). As a child, he went to nursing homes to play his violin with his private teacher. As time progressed, he realized he was playing in more competitions and missed connecting with others through music. He called local nursing homes to see if they would be interested in him, and a group of musicians, performing for them. He received a resounding yes from the nursing homes and 30 musicians. While connecting with the residents at the nursing homes, he repeatedly saw people who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which triggered him to initiate the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Partnering with HOSA (future health professionals student organization), they raised $2,975. Anthony has ensured that both LMM and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s are sustainable in that he has trusted Lovejoy HS junior, Carol Xu to keep it going. Anthony’s father said, “This is like his baby. He needed someone who really cared.”
During the speech he delivered at graduation he said, “…the most valuable lesson I’ve learned here at Lovejoy has been from you guys, it’s about balance between life and school.” He was ranked 12th in his class his freshman year, 3rd his sophomore year and 2nd his junior and senior years. He said that during his sophomore year, “I started hanging out with my friends less. I stopped doing things I loved and instead studied for hours on end, as my family and friends fell to the bottom of my priority list.” He said he discovered the secret to his academic success is balance. If he found himself tired of a topic, he would take a break to hang out with friends or do something else he enjoyed like play his violin. “If high school has taught me anything, it’s that life should not be marked by accomplishments or accolades, but instead it should be celebrated for the people and memories.”
Anthony voiced appreciation for his orchestra conductor, Joey Sloan and his Spanish teacher, Seth Sartain. Of Sloan he said, “He motivated me to not find excuses in my life and to stay humble. He taught me to not let my worries get in the way of kindness.” Of Sartain he said, “Every morning, for 15 minutes at the beginning of class, he went around just talking to each student. He wanted to know about our lives. I felt like I was more productive in that class than other classes.”
For his parents, Jackie and Jenny Tang, who are first generation immigrants from China he said, “When I started high school I was ungrateful and questioned why my parents weren’t as involved as other parents. Now I am so grateful for them. They kept me true to my Chinese roots, and made me proud of those roots.” He adds that when he was tired of studying, he would think of his parents and how hard they work while maintaining a relationship with each other and their kids. He said, “I work hard for them because of this love in my life. I never feel alone and always feel motivated.”
Jenny Tang, Anthony’s mother, said while watching her son give his speech at graduation she felt, “Thankful to God and very proud.” She said that even though her children have graduated, she will try her hardest to work for the Lovejoy community, to contribute and give back.
Three years ago, Anthony’s sister, Angela Tang was also Salutatorian of LHS. Jackie and Jenny give the following advice: “Teach your kids to have good study habits at a very early age; middle school is too late to get this started. Make sure your kids enjoy reading and counting. Encourage your kids to make friends with kids who have similar interests and teach them to work as a team.” Jenny said while smiling, “I still enjoy seeing him read a book and laugh.” Anthony said, “My dad raised me to be a thinker, he would always give me math riddles to think about in the car…” Jackie taught Anthony to break the problems down into the simplest form, which he also applied as a life lesson.
Anthony was the founder and president of Lovejoy Music Medicine and Help for Houston. He was president of Lovejoy Orchestra and Spanish National Honors Society. He was a Senior Class of 2018 Representative for Lovejoy ISD Student Advisory Board, Team Captain for Lovejoy JV Pole Vault, Los Jovenes Worship Leader at Chase Oaks Church en Espanol, Team Captain of Lovejoy Academic Decathlon and Chemistry Olympiad, accounting manager for the Lovejoy Relay for Life and volunteer tutor. He is fluent in Mandarin and proficient in Spanish.
He will attend University of Texas at Austin in the fall. He will pursue a double major in finance and chemistry. There were 360 students in the LHS class of 2018. The Tang family has lived within the Lovejoy community in Allen for 10 years.