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Leon County Schools honors Best and Brightest in virtual ceremony

Posted at 11:23 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 23:25:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County Schools celebrated some outstanding students in an unusual way Thursday night.

The district held its 15th annual Best and Brightest Ceremony virtually.

COVID -19 altered many things, but Wednesday night LCS found a way for their best scholars to be honored.

"I was a little disappointed I wasn't able to be there in person," said Morgan Hardenburg, the Best and Brightest winner for World Languages.

Morgan Hardenburg has worked hard mastering the Spanish language for six years.

Wednesday night the ceremony she always dreamed of, acknowledging her academic achievements in World Languages, was held virtually.

It was out of the ordinary from the usual the Best and Brightest ceremonies, but still exciting.

"Having my mom and my grandma with me, and hearing them scream when my name popped up," said Hardenburg, "and they started crying."

Forty-four other outstanding students names were announced along with their many accomplishments.

Each winner of a category sent in a statement to be read aloud.

Laura Rodgers, the program director for World Class Schools, a program of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, read aloud student's messages.

Those scholars looking to stay in Tallahassee were also offered a pretty penny to attend Tallahassee Community College.

"Those students who receive an honorable mention will receive $1,000 each year towards TCC tuition, runners up will receive $1,500 each year towards TCC tuition," said Bill Spiers, the director of Financial Aid at TCC. "And winners will receive $3,000 each year towards TCC tuition."

Although they weren't allowed to celebrate each other in one room, Hardenburg says she was still rooting for her fellow Brightest scholars.

"Seeing all their pictures and stuff, I was so happy for them," said Hardeburg.

Additionally, 45 eighth grade essay finalists were recognized for their writing talents.

The awards ceremony can be watched by clicking here.