Stephen Mannas and Terrick Washington may not remember when they met, but they obviously remember what they learn in school.

Stephen Mannas and Terrick Washington may not remember when they met, but they obviously remember what they learn in school.

Mannas is Plainview High School’s 2009 valedictorian and a National Merit Scholarship finalist, while Washington is salutatorian and a National Achievement finalist.

Both have worked hard to get to this point.

“I don’t do any extra work, but do what I have to the best I can,” Mannas said.

Studying is not the only thing that has helped. “I pray to God and that usually works,” Washington said.

Their parents have played an important role in their lives.

“Both grew up with education as a priority,” Plainview High School counselor Mary Lynn Wood said.

Mannas is the son of David and Cindy Mannas. Washington is the son of Phillip and Laurie Washington.

“My parents help me keep my time managed and support whatever activity I’m involved in,” Washington said.

Mannas and Washington met when they were very young and played youth soccer together.
“I vaguely remember wearing bright green shirts and being short,” Mannas said.

They were separated when they attended different schools, but reconnected when the Washington transferred to Plainview in sixth grade.

The duo went from the playing field to playing gigs when they started their own rock band.

“We wrote a few songs and played a few covers,” Mannas said.

The band performed at various venues in Oklahoma and Texas.

Mannas plays the guitar and keyboard. Washington plays the bass guitar, keyboard, saxophone and drums.

Unfortunately, the band has had some setbacks. “Our drummer moved, so we haven’t done a lot lately,” Mannas said.

However, they sometimes get together on an informal basis to just play.

Washington attends the Corinth Baptist Church where he participates in the youth band, is a junior black belt in Taekwondo and plays in the Plainview High School marching and jazz bands.

Mannas is an Eagle Scout, plays football and attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church. His skills in sculpting fountains have landed him a spot in Plainview’s highly competitive AP art class.

Mannas and Washington are no strangers to advanced courses, having taken several AP classes.
This year, Mannas is taking AP calculus and AP physics through the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics. Washington is taking government at Ardmore Higher Education Center and last semester took college algebra.

Both students advise that studying is an important part of their success. “Just put in the hours. It’s not easy,” Mannas said.

However, balance is also important.

“You have to be in other activities. If you don’t have anything fun to do, then you’re just going to get sick of the work,” Washington said.

The balance they recommend can be seen in their favorite classes.

“Jazz band, as far as electives. I am liking AP English. This year it’s really insightful with the way we analyze details and I’m enjoying it,” Washington said.

“Athletics because it’s nice to get out of the routine school work,” Mannas said.

Those around them also notice their dedication to both their studies and their activities.

“It’s good to be able to do that much and actually enjoy their high school experience,” Wood said.
Mannas and Washington draw inspiration from their families as they plan for after graduation.
Washington plans to follow his older sisters’ footsteps and attend the University of Oklahoma.

“It will be a different experience from here because I have never lived anywhere else. It will be great to live in a different environment and to see what new experiences they have to offer,” Washington said.

He plans to become a dentist or oral surgeon like his father.

Mannas plans to attend Notre Dame and major in pre-med.

“It is going to be really, really cold. The campus is really nice and has a great atmosphere,” Mannas said.

Two of his brothers have attended Notre Dame and all three also plan to go into medicine.

“Everything I want to do they have already done,” Mannas said.

They also enjoy football, going to last year’s OU-Kansas game together. Mannas plans to attend all of Notre Dame’s home games and Washington plans to join the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band.

Mannas and Washington hope their friendship continues to grow, though there’s a possible speed bump ahead: OU plays Notre Dame in football in 2012.

Jennifer Lindsey, 221-6526