Copperas Cove High School graduate Alex McCarthy, 17, poses with Myrna Hart, his English teacher.

Copperas Cove High School graduate Alex McCarthy, 17, keeps busy by teaching martial arts to young kids and singing as often as he can.

McCarthy graduated in June with a 1,600 SAT score and a weighted GPA of 4.5, which earned him several scholarships to Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Despite his academic accomplishments, McCarthy’s main passion is actually singing. But he almost missed his calling.

“I originally wanted to go out for the band, but I missed the audition date,” he said. “I decided to do choir instead and ended up loving it. Now I’m going to major in it in college.”

McCarthy has sung with the school choir at various community events, including the dedication ceremony of Robert Griffin III Boulevard in Cove. He also received top honors at the Texas All-State Choir competition last year.

McCarthy said the human voice can paint a beautiful image. “I remember a composer wrote a song about his son who died in the war using choir music, and the words added that extra oomph to it,” he said. “And when the voices were tuned they made this really cool whistling sound and it’s, like, awesome.”

English teacher Myrna Hart, who taught Alex in the 10th grade, described him as a congenial and cooperative young man.

“I’ve watched him in the hallways, and he’s always so pleasant and friendly to other kids and teachers and he always has a smile on his face,” she said.

Hart expressed joy for her former student’s success, which did not come as a surprise to her, she said.

“I expect Alex to do very well. ... Watching him as a 15-year-old and seeing how well he did then, I’m not at all surprised that he’s gotten scholarships.”

A third-degree black belt student, McCarthy teaches martial arts at McCarthy’s Taekwondo & Self Defense in Temple, owned and operated by his family.

McCarthy credits his parents’ guidance for keeping him grounded. “If it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” he said. “They’ve done a lot for me.”

The teen advises other students to do what makes them happy ... as long as it is not something foolish.

“Have a plan for what you want to do but don’t commit yourself to just one path,” he said. “Be open to things because you never know what’s going to happen.”

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