Kayla Manning is heading to Harvard this fall after graduating at the top of her class at Salado High School.
The daughter of Will and Kris Manning, Kayla will graduate Salado High School with a final GPA of 113.667.
Kayla has attended Salado schools since first grade.
She was named a National Merit Scholar this year. She had a perfect score on the ACT and she was named an AP Scholar with Distinction.
Manning took home an individual gold medal from the State UIL Academic Meet in Spelling and Vocabulary and Mathematics, leading both teams to second place finishes in the competition.
She competed all four years in Spelling & Vocabulary and as a junior and senior in Mathematics. She was the State runner-up in Spelling and Vocabulary as a sophomore and junior. Her junior year, the team won the Spelling & Vocabulary State competition. She was the Spelling & Vocabulary Champion in 2015 as a freshman. She was the Region and District Champion in Spelling her freshman-senior year. She was the Regional runner-up in Mathematics this year before winning the State gold.
Manning was also active in athletics during her high school career, playing basketball all four years. She was on the varsity team three years and was team captain and team MVP as a senior. Manning earned second team All District honors in basketball this year. She was named to the Academic All District team three years.
Manning was a member of the Mu Alpha Theta – Math Honor Society (10-12), serving as its treasurer as a junior and president as a senior.
Kayla also served as a members of the ASTRA community service club, Student Council, freshman class President, Student Senate, Salado Youth Leadership and National Honor Society.
She is active in her church, where she plays piano in the Salado United Methodist Church youth praise band. She also volunteers with children’s ministries, including Vacation Bible School.
Manning took advantage of the Advanced Placement offering in Salado, taking 11 AP courses: U.S. History, English, Statistics, Physics, Macroeconomics, US Government & Politics, Calculus, Spanish language and culture, English Literature, Biology and World History.
As a senior she served as the Student Representative to the Village of Salado Board of Aldermen..
Manning will study either applied math or statistics at Harvard. She says she hasn’t decided yet on a career path.
She would like to continue to play intramural or club basketball in college and will join some pre-professional clubs “so that I can figure out what I want to do with my life.”
Growing up in Salado since first grade has taught Manning “the value of living in a tight-knit community.”
Kyra Mann has coached Manning for four years in Spelling. “She was my bus driver before that,” Manning said. “She has watched me grow as both a person and student, and she has always encouraged me to pursue my interests.
Dennis Cabaniss has taught Manning AP Math for the past two years and was her coach in UIL Math. “He has taught me to never settle and has taught me that with a little hard work, anything is possible,” she said.
Coach Diane Konarik worked with Maning as her basketball coach. “She has watched me struggle and encouraged me to push through both physical and mental challenges.”
Her biggest challenge now she says will be to “Find a job to help pay for college!”