Marathon’s annual Class Night showered the 91 seniors from the Class of 2022 with more than $1.1 million spread across 60 scholarships and organizational awards. Most scholarships ranged from $250 to $1,000, while some included physical gifts like laptop computers and even laundry supplies starter kits for college. A new award of particular significance to the MHS community this year was the Rebecca Thacker Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the high school English teacher who passed away in April of this year and presented by her mother, Cheryl Bailey.

In addition to recognizing all graduates with honors, the school announced Lilian Guo as the class valedictorian along with Leo Volchek as its salutatorian.

Photos by ALEX RICKERT/Keys Weekly

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Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.