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Salutatorian prepares for moment in the spotlight


As the 2023-2024 school year comes to a close and our Salutatorian Mareo Mukes is preparing to give his big speech at this year’s graduation ceremony, giving a final goodbye to the class of 2024. 

“I was excited to hear because a lot of hard work [requires] that status, like scheduling all the AP classes and competing with all my other peers to get that spot but I feel really good…” he said.

Being Salutatorian was a goal that Mukes had set up for himself when entering high school, but he’s not looking to stop anytime soon.

“I was able to accomplish that goal, so the future goals I set…to be top of the engineering class at Purdue University West Lafayette,” Mukes said. “I’ll have way harder competition because the students will be either better academically or just they want it more so I’ve got to really be up there to be top of my class when I go to college.”

While it’s an amazing achievement to be ranked second in class, there are a lot of obstacles and struggles that come with earning the title of Salutatorian.
“I struggled a lot…the quantity of how hard [the AP classes] individually were. Just having all of them back to back for three trimesters was the hardest part,” Mareo said.

Taking those AP classes “back-to-back” while also joining clubs and doing sports was very stressful for Mukes, but his family and friends have always been a huge support system for him and kept him through everything throughout his high school career. He wants to inspire others just like his family has inspired him.

“Just put your mind to it . . . if you want to do something do it without effort you’re not really gonna get anywhere so put as much effort in it to doing what you wanna do and just out your heart towards it ‘cause a lot of people find passion in it but the most passionate always come on top.”

But the biggest highlight of the night is the Salutatorian speech which is to open the ceremony and acknowledgement of important people and speak to parents and guardians on behalf of their fellow classmates.

‘‘To give a few hints on the speech,” he said. “I’m really focusing on keeping it light, but also delivering a lot of wisdom. I want to joke around a lot to keep everybody awake because it is supposed to be five to eight minutes, so I really hope people can stay with me the whole way through and it was a journey and I want to emphasize that we all got through it together.’’


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About the Contributor
Eliza Monté Gilbert
Eliza Monté Gilbert, Staff Writer
Hello! I'm Eliza, a senior who is passionate about Theatre. In addition to being a theatre geek, I also have a strong love for writing and storytelling. I'm thrilled to join the Newspaper team this year, surrounded by fellow journalists who share my interests. After graduation, I intend to pursue my passion for theatre, whether it's in college or on a larger platform. Catch me on the stage or the big screen!

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