Valedictorian Lukas Novak graduates Folsom High SchoolLoading
  • Lukas Novak, a valedictorian at Folsom High School, and his mother Rain Wightman, meet before the graduation ceremony Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif. Lukas said his discipline and drive have been fueled by his desire escape a challenging home life. He became a voracious reader, and won numerous medals in the recent Academic Decathlon. "I refuse, point blank, to allow my circumstances to define me," he said. In fall 2014, the Folsom High graduate begins his studies at Princeton, where he won a full-ride scholarship.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Ted Novak, give his son,Lukas Novak, a valedictorian at Folsom High School, his academic awards before the graduation ceremony Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak, a valedictorian at Folsom High School, talks on phone before the graduation ceremony Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Rain Wightman adjust the academic awards her son, Lukas Novak, wears before the valedictorian attends the graduation ceremony at Folsom High School, Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak, touches his valedictorian medal before he attends the graduation ceremony at Folsom High School, Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Emily Parker and Lukas Novak, a valedictorian at Folsom High School, have a photograph taken before the graduation ceremony Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak finds a quiet moment holding his valedictorian medal and speech outside of the gymnasium to gather his thoughts before the start of the graduation ceremony on the football field at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak, hugs teacher Mark Nelson before the start of the graduation ceremony at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif. Since March Lukas and his younger brother, Christian, have lived with two Folsom High School teachers - math teacher Mark Nelson and Nelson's wife, Heidi who teaches visually impaired students throughout the district.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak paces the gymnasium practicing his graduation speech before the start of the graduation ceremony on the football field at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Tristan Bonds takes a photo of Bruno Matsui, Lukas Novak and Matthew Kyawmyint at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak gestures as he walks to the graduation ceremony with classmates at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak give his valedictorian speech at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak, gives his valedictorian speech at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak walks off the stage after giving his valedictorian speech at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak waits to walk across stage to receive his diploma at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak waits to receive his diploma at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak, tossed hit hat into the air in celebration during the conclusion of the graduation ceremony at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif. Lukas said his discipline and drive have been fueled by his desire escape a challenging home life. He became a voracious reader, and won numerous medals in the recent Academic Decathlon. "I refuse, point blank, to allow my circumstances to define me," he said. In fall 2014, the Folsom High graduate begins his studies at Princeton, where he won a full-ride scholarship.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak's brother, Christian, picks him up in celebration as his mom, Rain Wightman, right, brings him flowers after he graduated at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak hugs classmate after receiving his diploma at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak' hugs his mom, Rain Wightman after he graduated at Folsom High School Thursday May 29, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak plays a game of fuss ball with his teacher Mark Nelson where he and his brother Christian have lived since March on Friday May 30, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak plays a game of fuss ball at the home of his teacher Mark Nelson where he and his brother Christian have lived since March on Friday May 30, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
  • Lukas Novak plays a game of fuss ball against his brother Christian at the home of his teacher Mark Nelson where he and his brother Christian have lived since March on Friday May 30, 2014 in Folsom, Calif.
    Paul Kitagaki Jr. | pkitagaki@sacbee.com
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