By Nick Nunn staff writer

Jack LeClair, 17, a senior at Morgan County High School (MCHS), was named the 2014 valedictorian. Elizabeth Mahoney, 17, a senior at MCHS, was named the salutatorian. Principal Jim Malanowski announced their achievement during a specially called assembly for seniors.

“These are the people who burn the midnight oil in their studies. These are the folks who seem to get it. They put in the blood, sweat and tears to make it happen,” said Malanowski. “They will be your representation at graduation,” Malanowski told MCHS senior.

LeClair has applied to Yale, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania and is planning on studying neuroscience. Mahoney is considering attending the University of Georgia and is planning on studying political science.

“These two students have been diligent and persevering throughout high school. Their recognition today is a result of countless hours of dedication,” said Brian Cook, a counselor at MCHS. LeClair said he worked hard to earn this honor.

“I definitely stayed up through the night two to three times a week to get here,” said LeClair. Mahoney said she appreciated every moment and looks forward to the future. “It’s been an amazing journey, and you just have to keep going forward,” said Mahoney.

LeClair’s father and Mahoney’s parents, came to the assembly to congratulate them. Timothy LeClair, Jack LeClair’s father, took pride in his son’s accomplishments. “This is the culmination of all their hard work since pre-school,” said Timothy LeClair.

“There are so many outstanding kids in this school. I’m very proud of how far Jack has gotten.” Timothy LeClair added that Jack’s mother, Sue Ann LeClair, was overjoyed by this honor for her son. Bill and Tara Mahoney cheered for their daughter when she was announced salutatorian.

“I am beyond thrilled and excited for her,” said Tara Mahoney. “She is very deserving of this,” said Bill Mahoney. The school hired a limo to take LeClair and Mahoney to lunch after the announcement. “I am watching you guys, watching you guys do some spectacular things,” said Malanowski “You’re leaving your fingerprints on this place,” said Malanowski to all the students.

“You are the class of 2014. You will be remembered not just for what you are able to accomplish here, but for who you are. Remember who you really are and make good choices.”