McGary top student at Ellwood Christian Academy

Published 8:35 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Larry McGary Jr. had some tough competition his senior year on his way to becoming Ellwood Christian Academy’s valedictorian.

He knew at the beginning of the school year that he would have to work hard to earn the position, but he didn’t know until recently that he is the valedictorian.

“I was very excited about it because in August … I had to set a couple of goals and rules for myself,” McGary said. “It was a long journey to get here, and it was kind of hard, but I did it.”

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When he found out, McGary said he didn’t know what to say, but he was glad that all of his hard work paid off in the end.

“I was kind of blank. I was like, ‘Wow, I actually got it, I did it,’” he said. “It was hard getting here because I was playing sports, and it was hard. But I had to go to practice and then go home and before I went to sleep I had to actually study.”

McGary is the son of Larry and Regina McGary.

He is graduating with a 3.7 grade point average and during his time in high school has been president of the honor society, participated in football, track and baseball and was the president of lighthouse committee.

He was awarded for his outstanding academics, was presented with the athlete of the year and was named to the all-county football team.

McGary Jr. said his parents are what got him through high school and helped him to achieve his goals.

“They helped me a lot,” McGary Jr. said. “I remember there were a lot of days that I didn’t want to get up and go to school at all, but they walked in my room and woke me up and said you’ve got to go to school, you can’t miss a day.”

After high school, McGary Jr. plans to attend the University of West Alabama to major in sports management and then University of Alabama at Birmingham to study dentistry. He also has hopes of playing football in college.

Choosing to study dentistry wasn’t a hard decision for him.

“When I was little, I was the type of child that as soon as I found out I had a loose tooth I’m going in my room, I’m closing my door and I’m going to pull it out,” McGary Jr. said. “I was like mom, I think I want to be a dentist, and she was like, do it. So ever since then I’ve wanted to be a dentist.”

McGary Jr. said he is sad to leave Ellwood, but he is also excited and ready for the next step in his life.

“I’m kinda scared because I know four years in high school was kind of hard, but now I’m about to go into the real world with a lot of people and leave home to go to a college that I don’t know anyone there,” McGary Jr. said. “But then again I’m excited.”