Oak Lawn Hometown Hometown School District 123 graduate, Jack Golden, was named the 2017 Valedictorian at Marist High School, which recently celebrated its graduation.
“Being named valedictorian is actually kind of a weird feeling. It’s crazy to think that every late night Dunkin Donuts run and all the studying for exams could have led to this moment, but nonetheless, I am absolutely honored to be named valedictorian,” said Golden.
Golden is a District 123 alumni, attending Kolmar and Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School before high school, and credits his time in the district to his success. “During my time at D123, I learned how to become passionate in my studies. I remember sitting in Mrs. Georgelos’ room as she frantically moved the winners of her annual March Madness competition. To be completely honest, I’ve always hated studying history, but she really showed me that even if you aren’t that interested in the course material, you can always find a way to make the course engaging and enlightening,” he said.
Golden has plans to attend Loyola University in the Fall with a double major in molecular and cellular neuroscience and Spanish literature on the pre-med track. “My big dream right now is to survive med school as best as I can and become a neurologist or neurosurgeon. However, in order to keep myself sane, this summer I’m volunteering at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, lifeguarding at the Oak Lawn Pool, and spending quite a bit of time sleeping and relaxing,” said Golden.
Ninety-nine percent of the class will attend college in the fall. Four students will join the military, while a few will enter the workforce immediately. If the class’s accomplishments at Marist are any indication of their future success, the end of this chapter is just the beginning for them.
Golden was joined by 400 other young men and women walking across the stage last week. The school noted that the senior class sent out more than 2,000 college applications, and were accepted to colleges and universities across the country. Graduates will be on the campuses of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Yale University, University of Illinois, Marquette, Loyola, and St. Louis University, to name a few. They were awarded more than $45 million in scholarship monies, including three Chick Evans Scholarships. There were two National Merit Finalists and three National Merit Commended students and 61 Illinois State Scholars. Marist seniors were leaders on the math team, which finished fifth in state overall and as the top Catholic school. The language department offered exchange programs with international Marist schools, allowing students to host students from and travel to Spain, Italy, and France. Seniors also were pioneers in the school’s business curriculum, culminating in three student companies receiving funding. Numerous students were named ACT scholars, Advanced Placement Scholars, and received prestigious awards and scholarships.