One #Houston teen is making history at his Roman Catholic college preparatory high school. #KellinMcGowan is the first black student to be named valedictorian at St. Thomas High School in its 119-year history, according to @khou.

“The guys here are really competitive academically,” said the school’s principal Aaron Dominguez.  “They support each other. They hold each other up, but they’re also vying to be the very, very best.”

Kellin said he was surprised about the good news when it was announced earlier this month.

“By being valedictorian, I think that I can change some people’s perspective about my race specifically,” said McGowan.

Not only is Kellin a high-performing student, but he’s also well-loved on campus. English teacher Darrell Yarbrough described him as “a superhero with a cloak of humility. You will never meet a nicer person.”

Other families in the school’s community are celebrating Kellin’s major accomplishment.

“News worth story,” wrote Tami Collins.  She’s the parent of another high school student who is also excited about the news.  “The first African-American valedictorian in the 119 year history of St. Thomas High School.”

Kellin has plans to enroll at the University of Chicago where he wants to study political science. He has aspirations of attending law school so that he can become an immigration attorney.

Kellin was also selected for the Albert R. Gaelens Award- for the senior student who best embodies the school motto of “Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge.”

Seniors are nominated by their peers, then faculty votes on those who received the most nominations.

“Kellin McGowan is God’s superhero,” wrote Yarbrough.  

We’d like to congratulate Kellin on all his hard work and making history. We’re sure his accomplishments will inspire other young men of color at his school and schools all over the nation!

TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh