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Personality: Christopher Tate Gabbert

Spotlight on Richmond Public Schools’ highest achieving student

6/3/2016, 11:45 a.m.
Chris Gabbert doesn’t consider himself a bookworm. “I need to read more on my own,” explains Chris, an 18-year-old senior ...

Parents: Wayne Gabbert, an IT specialist for the Virginia Department of Accounts, and Linda Gabbert, a stay-at-home mom.

Sibling: Emily, 19.

Birth date and place: Oct. 1 in Richmond.

Current residence: City of Richmond.

Reaction to valedictorian honor: Excited and honored.

Family’s reaction: Proud.

Main point I will make in valedictory address: Ranking doesn’t matter; everyone should feel significant.

Universities that made scholarship offers: Bridgewater College, George Mason University, Randolph Macon College.

The university I selected: Virginia Commonwealth University.

Reason: Research opportunities, social diversity and finances.

How attitude figures in scoring high: Always want to improve and eventually you will.

What motivates me to study: Making my teachers in each specific class proud.

A good teacher is: One who respects his/her students as adults rather than just mere children.

Career goal: Still trying to figure that out, but possibly a doctor.

Ultimate ambition: To always want to learn, even when I’m significantly older.

The secret to earning “A’s”: There is none. Don’t just focus on grades, but rather focus on what you dedicate to that class.

Most unforgettable experience at my high school: Charleston “Minimester” trip.

Teacher who influenced me the most: All my teachers influenced me, so it wouldn’t be fair to give all the credit to just one.

What I like most about Richmond: Its unique culture and atmosphere that no other city can completely match.

What I like least: That our citizens have to fight for education when schools should be given ultimate precedence.

No. 1 suggestion for improving Richmond: Acknowledge that inner-city education is hard to provide at a satisfactory level, but it can be done.

Perfect day: Hanging out with my family.

How I relax: Sleep — really, it helps.

Best late-night snack: Leftover sandwich.

Three words that best describe me: Kind, joyful and overall positive.

Nobody knows that I: Can be very sappy sometimes.

The persons who influenced me the most: My parents and sister.

What I’m reading now: I’m thinking about what new book to start now.

My next goal: Graduate college.