MORRISTOWN, NJ - Morristown High School has announced the top two academic achievement awards for the Class of 2020 - Valedictorian and Salutatorian. This year's honors go to Sophia Duby, Valedictorian and Peter Hong, Salutatorian.

According to MHS principal Mark Manning, both students are role models inside and outside of the classroom.

"They have achieved the highest grades in our most demanding courses and are thoroughly prepared for the challenges that await them at the prestigious universities that each will attend in the fall", said Manning. 

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In the fall, Duby will be attending Columbia University with sights on going pre-med. Although undecided as of now, she is thinking of a major in Economics or Neuroscience. Aside from her studies, Duby plans on joining the intramural volleyball team, the pre-medical society and the ski club.

There were many people who help her along the way, but her relationship with her guidance counselor, Ms. Barrera stands out.

"She was incredibly supportive through all of my struggles, whether academic or personal, and encouraged me to pursue my goal, said Duby.

Ms. Barrera, along with Mr. Miller made an impact on Hong as well.

"As a first-generation student, I had no idea what I was doing when I first entered high school and the college application process was a complete mystery to my parents and I", said Hong. "From helping me decide which courses I should take to guiding me through the college application process, Ms. Barrera was with me every step of my high school career. During the college application process, Mr. Miller's guidance was invaluable to me and his willingness to help me read over and revise my essay before school even started means the world to me. I am forever grateful for everything Ms. Barrera and Mr. Miller have done for me because without their support (along with the countless teachers and everyone else who have helped me too) I would have been completely lost and not been able to overcome all of the hurdles that I encountered and reach for new heights. 

Hong will be attending The University of Pennsylvania with thoughts of majoring in either biochemistry or chemistry. After participating in cross country, swimming and spring track as well as many academic and community based clubs, Hong plans to join some intramural sports clubs and cultural clubs and groups in college.

"I want to join the Penn Lions (a lion dance group) because I was always mesmerized by lion dances as a child and I think that being a part of that would be a really cool experience', he said.

In addition to their academics, both scholars take with them fond memories of their time at MHS. Being home since March and with graduation on the horizon, both Duby and Hong believe that students should focus on what they are passionate about.

Advise for incoming freshman? Both scholars say "try new things, meet new people and find something you are passionate about".

"I can speak for the entire Morristown High School community when I say that we are incredibly proud of their accomplishments and we are confident that they will continue to garner future accolades that we know they certainly deserve", said Manning.


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