Teen Valedictorian Is the 4th in the Family

Florida's Ryleigh Rendina is last of her siblings to graduate first in her class
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2024 8:18 AM CDT
Florida Family High-Fives a 4th Valedictorian Daughter
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/matt_benoit)

Ryleigh Rendina was recently featured in Florida Today's "Top Scholars" roundup, with goals to major in biomedical engineering and become an emergency veterinarian. The 18-year-old is also this year's valedictorian at Astronaut High in Titusville, and her parents are super proud—for the fourth time. Rendina has three older sisters who all were valedictorians in their own respective senior classes, which FOX 35 says is a feat with odds of about 1 in 11 billion.

"The statistical chance just of having four girls is so minor," says Tracey Rendina, the girls' mom. To have four girls as valedictorians is "beyond even reason." Ryleigh shrugs as if she knew it was her destiny. "I was like, 'Well, I have to. There's really no other option,'" she says. Rendina, who serves as head of the math department at her daughters' high school, tells Fox News Digital the girls' accomplishment is due to their "great work ethic," and that "we never told them they had to make A's."

Makaley Rendina, now 24, was the first of the Rendina girls to attain the academic honor, followed by Alisa, 22, and Taylor, 20. "By the time we [reached] No. 4, and she knew that all of her sisters had been valedictorian, I do think she felt internally some pressure to do that as well," Tracey Rendina says. As for the secret behind the Redina siblings' success: Dad Mike Rendina tells FOX 35 that "just being there, being involved, picking them up when they fall down" is how he and his wife helped the girls in all their endeavors. Ryleigh will attend the University of Florida in Gainesville in the fall.
(More uplifting news stories.)

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