Mattituck High School’s commencement this Saturday will mark the district’s 100th graduation ceremony. But there’s an even more special reason why Class of 2014 valedictorian Christian Montgomery is excited about receiving the honor.
Thirty-three years ago, his father, Michael, was also named Mattituck’s valedictorian.
And though the honor’s the same, a lot has changed since then.
Christian’s class of nearly 145 has about 15 more students than his father’s did. When Mr. Montgomery was at MHS, most of his classmates came to school with muddy boots because they worked on farms beforehand. The school had just installed its first-ever computer labs.
If you ask the Montgomerys how they both were able to rank No. 1 in their classes, they’ll tell you it helped that they got support and encouragement to do the best they could without the pressure to always bring home top grades. But more than that, they attribute their academic success to growing up in an environment where curiosity about the world was nurtured.
“I always just tried to do my best on every test — it never really hindered my abilities to participate in other activities and I never felt I missed out in high school,” Christian said. “My parents have always said ‘Do the best you can. If you can get the A, get the A.’ ”