Marist High School recently named Zachary Stack and Connor McNamara co-valedictorians for the class of 2020. The two tied for the highest grade point average in the class of 397 students.
McNamara (pictured), a graduate of St. Michael School in Orland Park, made the most of his time at Marist. He competed on the math team for four years. The team qualified for state each year. He also served as a student ambassador for three years, welcoming prospective families to Marist's campus.
Athletically, he was a member of the baseball and tennis teams for two seasons and the basketball team for one season.
He received the esteemed Block M Award for his contributions to the math and tennis teams.
A National Merit Finalist, McNamara said being at the top of the class was always a goal that helped him do his best every day. Now, he is ready for the next chapter in life. "I feel that all my Marist experiences on sports teams, in the classroom, and everything else, has prepared us for any of the challenges we will face in college," he said.
Many of his favorite memories revolve around math. He enjoyed BC Calculus, a course that met for three hours each Friday. The math team was a great source of pride for McNamara, too. "My most special Marist memory is going to the state competition for math team every year at University of Illinois. It was always one of the best days of the year, and I was disappointed when it got canceled this year," McNamara said.
McNamara will return to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this fall where he will pursue a degree in computer science engineering.
He is proud of his classmates, noting their positive attitudes and work ethic. "We have shown that we will be able to handle anything the future gives us," he said.
Marist’s class of 2020 graduated via a virtual ceremony on Sunday, May 24. McNamara shared some comments during the event.