Mahopac High School Seniors Thomas O'Brien and Matthew Luongo have earned the school’s top honors. They were named the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2020.
Throughout his high school career, Thomas O’Brien has proven to be a stellar student dedicated to achieving great academic success and being an active member of his school community. “I started in Mahopac Schools in 1st grade at Fulmar Road Elementary School with Mrs. Stefunek.” He excelled in rigorous courses, was awarded Signature Student on multiple occasions, is an AP Scholar, and will graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors and Mastery in Math and Science.
“I’ve enjoyed numerous classes at MHS. Some that stand out are Algebra 2, Geometry, Personal Finance, and Introduction to Engineering,” he said. “My parents have inspired me both in my studies and in life to do my best and give my best effort in everything I do. I would like everyone to know that with hard work and dedication, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I would like to thank all of my family, teachers, friends, coaches, and peers who have helped me succeed and have always been there for me.”
In addition to being a top-notch student, Thomas has been a member of and has held leadership positions for various clubs and activities, has volunteered and worked in his community, has earned All-Section for Cross Country, and is a member of our Varsity Basketball and Lacrosse Teams.
“Thomas has been a positive role model to his peers and demonstrates a value for excellence that is beyond compare,” said Principal Matt Lawrence. “We are so proud of all of his accomplishments and wish him continued success in his future.”
Thomas, who will attend Notre Dame University in the Fall to study business analytics, added, “I would like to thank all healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers helping us through this tough time. I want them to know their work is appreciated by the entire community. I am very disappointed to miss out on all of the senior year milestones like prom, graduation, and my final lacrosse season at MHS. I am staying optimistic and hope for the best. However, I understand the greater picture. Go Pac!”
“Matthew Luongo’s focus, confidence and unwavering drive has led him to many accomplishments over the past four years in both academics and athletics,” said Dr. Lawrence about this year’s salutatorian. “Over the course of his high school career, Matthew has taken the most challenging classes offered at Mahopac High School, including eight honors classes and eleven AP and college level classes, earning high honor roll throughout every semester of high school.”
A student in Mahopac’s schools since Kindergarten, Matthew's stellar academic performance was matched by both his athletic talent, and commitment to community through clubs and service. On the field, Matthew is captain of both the Varsity cross-country and baseball teams, earning the NYSPHSAA Student Athlete award every year since he was a freshman. He is also the vice-president of the senior class, president of the Italian Club, captain of the Math Team, member of the Student Athletic Council, Biology Club, National Honors Society, Science National Honor Society, Italian National Honors Society, and Math National Honors Society.In addition to his participation and leadership in school, Matthew has given back to his neighbors and peers by volunteering over 300 hours of community service through his work as a youth basketball coach and peer tutor.
“My parents have inspired me throughout my life, both in and out of the classroom,” Matthew said. “They’ve always stressed the importance of having balance in my life between school and fun. I would like to thank my family, my teachers, my coaches, and my friends. They’ve all inspired me in different ways and have all been a part of my successes.”
Matthew, who will be attending University of Southern California in the Fall, majoring in Engineering, added, “I like math and science and would love to make a positive impact on the world. This is why I chose engineering.”
Echoing the sentiments of many seniors in the class of 2020, he said, “It’s devastating to think about missing graduation and my senior baseball season because those are the things that I have worked the hardest for my entire life. It’s also sad to possibly miss out on events like prom, senior day, and Seaside because I’m missing out on all these memories I could have been making with my closest friends before we go off to college. It’s been a process working through all these monumental senior events that we’ve lost, but I understand it is more important that everyone stays safe so we can go back to our lives before this. I hope that everyone stays safe during these unpromising times and thank you to everyone who is helping in any way.”