McNally and Thepmankorn “Knighted” as Valedictorian and Salutatorian!


Shalaka Madge, Editor-in-Chief

Ian McNally and Parisorn Thepmankorn have been named the Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively, of the Morris Hills Class of 2016. In order to achieve these honors, they had to work diligently to find a balance between school and extracurricular activities.

McNally devised a system to balance academics with cross country, winter track, and spring track. “I don’t do work past 10 p.m.” he said. “It helped me with time management, and over time I’ve gotten a lot faster at doing my work.” Alongside school work, Thepmankorn had to manage sports, school clubs such as the HOPE Club, and a job at Dunkin Donuts. She said finding a balance took “a lot of time management,” and she had to figure out “how much effort and time [to] spend on different activities.”

Along with time management, McNally and Thepmankorn had support from their family, friends, and teachers on their journey to becoming the Valedictorian and Salutatorian. “My parents, they’re always there for me,” said McNally. He also thanked his brother and his teachers, and he wanted to give a special shoutout to Coach Robinson. “I have to thank my parents, my teachers for being understanding, and my twin sister Parisa,” Thepmankorn said.

Neither the Valedictorian nor Salutatorian felt that they would change anything about their high school experiences. Rather, they focused on their greatest achievements at Morris Hills. McNally felt his greatest achievement in high school was becoming a 2-time All American and 3-time state champion in track. For Thepmankorn, attending the prestigious New Jersey Governor’s School for the Sciences was her greatest accomplishment. “It exposed me to a bunch of different people across New Jersey and that was a really fun experience,”  she said.

There is no doubt that McNally and Thepmankorn will have even greater achievements in the future. McNally will attend MIT. He said, “I don’t really know what I want to do, per se, but I know that I want to study a broad range of topics so that I can go wherever my heart desires.” Thepmankorn conducted biology research over the summer, and this helped her to cement her interest in medicine. She will attend TCNJ to take part in a 7-year medical program.

Leaving Morris Hills will certainly be a bittersweet moment for the Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Not seeing his Morris Hills friends everyday will be the hardest transition to make for McNally, and in Thepmankorn’s opinion, “high school is a fun experience” that will be missed. Although saying goodbye to the Morris Hills community will be difficult, both McNally and Thepmankorn are headed for much bigger things. Everyone at Morris Hills congratulates them for a job well done and wishes them the best of luck in the future!