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The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

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October 26, 2023

    Cha follows motto of “No regrets,” graduates as salutatorian

    By Shruthika Pochampally
    Staff Writer

    “No regrets” has been Coppell High School’s Class of 2014 salutatorian Daniel Cha’s motto for the past four years. Cha, who will be attending the University of Texas at Austin’s Engineering Honors for Aerospace program, also hopes to double major in business.

     “I didn’t tell myself anything to motivate me: I just did it,” Cha said. “One thing is, I want to do my best, so I won’t say I regret it after when I look back.”

     Though he has tried his hardest to have no regrets, Cha says that regrets are inevitable, especially as a high school student.

    Salutatorian Daniel Cha poses in a UT Austin t-shirt. Cha will go to UT Austin in the fall where he will major in Aerospace Engineering.

    “I have plenty of regrets from high school,” Cha said. “I regret not doing sports. I wanted to, but I also focused on getting the GPA and I missed out on a lot of things.”

     Cha says that he was stressed throughout high school because he attempted to handle too many things at once.

     “I was trying to study, but I was also trying to hang out with friends, while also trying to work on college essays,” Cha said. “I didn’t have my priorities straight and I was juggling too many things at once.”

    Cha is the president of Coppell High School’s dance team, Air Crew, and has started his own non-profit charity First Step outside of school. He says that having practices almost every day also added to his workload.

    “Freshman and sophomore year, we almost had practice every day for two hours, and that really took a lot of time, and when I got home I was tired,” Cha said.

    One benefit of Cha’s increased workload, however, was that his parents trusted him to complete all of his work on his own.

     “My parents are proud, of course,” Cha said. “But they never stressed me [out] about academics. They did until middle school and then let me go, and I got here by myself.”

    AP Physics B teacher Clint Rushing agrees Cha is an independent person who does not require much encouragement.

     “He just operated on his own and did his own thing and turned everything in,” Rushing said. “He was really smart and never asked many questions.”

    Cha says Coppell is an extremely competitive school, which can often be beneficial. However, competition can be harmful as well. According to Cha, it has the capability to bring out the worst in you.

    “I have seen people cheat their way out,” Cha said. “Many people cheat and end up going to a better college than they actually could have, and they struggle. It’s probably going to be the worst years of their life.”

    Cha says the only way he was able to balance his heavy workload was to cut down on sleep. Cha advises current high school students to not procrastinate.

    “That is obvious advice,” Cha said. “But also ask your upperclassmen for help with classes and college. Don’t choose your classes without knowing what you’re taking.”

    Cha’s advice is something he realized not after his high school years, but throughout, which is how he is able to graduate ranked two in his class.

    “Daniel is really fun and creative, as well as supportive and intelligent,” senior Derek John said.

    John, who has been in Air Crew with Cha for the past few years, expects Cha to be successful in everything he does in life.

    “I hope I am still friends with him when he gets famous,” John said.

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