Valedictorian, Salutatorian named

Tia Lynn Ivey Community, Featured

Morgan County High School has named this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian. This year’s honorees are MCHS Seniors Mackenzi Barrett, as valedictorian, and Cameron McCanless, as salutatorian.

“We are very proud of Mackenzi and Cameron,” said Superintendent James Woodard. “They have both modeled the level of academic achievement we expect from all of our students.”

“The entire high school is celebrating Mackenzi and Cameron’s honor!” said Assistant Superintendent Sarah Burbach.  “They will continue to make our community proud as they represent Morgan County in all of their future endeavors.”

Both Mackenzi and Cameron aimed to achieve these coveted top slots over their four-year high school careers.

For Mackenzi, her dreams of becoming valedictorian began even earlier.

“I have wanted to be valedictorian since elementary school and I have never waivered in my desire,” said Mackenzi. The experience was surreal for Mackenzi when her name was announced at MCHS last week.

“When the curtains opened to reveal the sign, I felt partly relieved, but mostly, I felt an immense feeling of accomplishment.”

“Today was the realization of a decades old dream. I can remember teachers telling my parents back in elementary school that I would be valedictorian,” said Mackenzi.

Mackenzi has not decided which college she will attend, though she has been accepted into six and is waiting to hear back from five more. She intends to study international affairs or genetics and hopes to attend a school out of state.

Cameron McCanless, MCHS’s STAR Student, was also thrilled to earn the salutatorian slot.

“I have been working really hard toward this—making the best grades I can and putting in the extra hours,” said McCanless, who will attend Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta this fall to study chemical engineering. “I feel like I have been given validation for all my work. All my hard work has finally paid off and given me this honor. I feel rewarded and I am immensely thankful to this school.”

Mackenzi and Cameron have been academic rivals for the last four years, forging a friendship over their common pursuit of academic excellence.

“We pushed each other to do better, to do extra, and that competition really kept us going,” said McCanless. “She went the extra mile. She put in a tremendous amount of work and she deserves the valedictorian spot. I’m very happy she got it.”

“I have to thank [Cameron] for a tough four years,” said Mackenzi. “There is no one else I would rather share this honor with. Get read for some amazing speeches!”

Mackenzi and Cameron will address the graduating class of 2018 and the community at the graduation ceremony in May before starting the next chapter of their lives for which they have worked so diligently.

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