Montverde Academy is proud to announce the Class of 2020 Valedictorian is Jesse Jones, and the Salutatorian is Molly Smith. MVA has a 100 percent college acceptance rate with 250 students having received more than 700 acceptances and earning more than $13.6 million in scholarships to date.
“We congratulate Jesse and Molly on reaching the pinnacle of their educational pursuit at Montverde Academy,” said Dr. Kasey C. Kesselring, Headmaster, Montverde Academy. “The students exemplify what is possible through tremendous commitment, hard work and dedication to pursuing a dream. Academics is at the forefront, but both have additionally earned tremendous accomplishments in their respective passions of athletics for Jesse, and the arts for Molly. We wish them continued success.”
Jesse Jones began at Montverde Academy in eighth grade and has excelled in academics making the Honor Roll every quarter. He is graduating with a Summa Cum Laude designation, is a Distinguished Scholar who has completed 13 Advanced Placement® classes and is an AP Capstone student. In his senior year, he has served as President of the National Honor Society and Secretary of the Science Honor Society, while also maintaining a demanding training schedule as a member of the intensely competitive Eagles Varsity Basketball team. He has been a member of the French National Honor Society since 2017 and a Basketball Buddy since 2018. He received the 2018 MVA Coaches award for his commitment and capabilities as a student-athlete pursuing basketball. He plans to study Business at either Babson College, Florida State University or the University of Virginia in the fall.
“Being named Montverde Academy’s Class of 2020 Valedictorian is a tremendous honor that I do not take lightly,” said Jesse. “While it is a recognition of the hard work and commitment I have put into my academics throughout the years, I view it as an even larger reflection of the people around me who have supported and encouraged me along the way. MVA has played a significant role in my ability to achieve this accomplishment, and though it may sound cliché, I truly could not have done it without the help of so many people. By approaching each day with the positive energy that they all do, they have encouraged me to do the same and never settle for anything less than my best self. I marvel that even during these difficult times apart from each other, the school community has remained unified. I have many great memories of my time here and look forward to what the future holds.”
Molly Smith has been a student at Montverde Academy for her entire academic career, starting as a Pre-K3 student. She is graduating with a Summa Cum Laude designation, has completed 11 AP classes and is an AP Capstone student. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Science Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta; while also serving on the Honor Council for four years and the Student Leadership Council for five years. An avid artist and performer, Molly has also been recognized for her outstanding ability as a writer, director and film maker, most notably earning two 2019 National Student Production Emmy Awards and two Scholastic Arts National Gold Medal Awards. In early 2020, she was selected as a recipient of one of the 2020 Cameron Impact Scholarships, a merit-based award for exceptional high school students who have demonstrated excellence in academics, extracurricular activities, leadership, and community service. She will head to Yale University this fall to study Film and English.
“I am so appreciative of all the encouragement, support, and opportunities that the faculty and staff have given me during my time here,” said Molly. “Throughout my time I have been encouraged to pursue all areas of interest and have been given the tools to succeed in my passion for filmmaking.”