By Nolan Navarrete ‘24

The John P. Leahy Junior of the Year award is the most prestigious award handed out at Brother Rice. Each winner and finalist has exemplified the true characteristics of a leader. Six Brother Rice juniors are chosen every school year to represent the award as finalists and one winner.

The six juniors from the 2022-2023 school year chosen as finalists were seniors (former juniors) J.D. Gamboa, Seamus Hanley, Owen McShane, Edward Maloney, Mac Murzyn, and Alexander LaMantia. Ten candidates were voted in by the Class of 2024, and these six finalists were chosen by the board of directors. The board saw the leadership, involvement, and academic integrity of the six finalists and made their decision.

During the first all school Mass on Sept. 14, 2023, the mass was concluded with the announcement of the John P. Leahy Junior of the Year award. As the finalists were recognized, a very great leader, role model, and advocate was recognized.

Senior Mac Murzyn said, “Taking action and treating others with respect is something I pride myself on. I believe these factors are the basis of a true finalist.”

Each finalist has dreams of applying to the college of his choice and being admitted. The finalist title looks good not only for the finalist, but for the college admissions journey.

The finalist title will affect college applications. Senior Owen McShane said, “The finalist title demonstrates hard work and competition and overall holds significant value to one’s application.”

I firmly believe that each of the finalists deserves the best recognition. However, there can be only one Junior of the Year.

The last person called to the stage was J.D. Gamboa. J.D. is an alumnus of St. Germaine and is involved in numerous activities and extra-curriculars at Brother Rice. While balancing all of his homework and activity work, J.D. is also a member of the varsity basketball team. J.D. bleeds maroon and orange.

Gamboa said, “When my name was called I felt a lot of excitement and amazement because I really worked hard to get that award. I am very grateful that I won it.”

Congrats to all of the candidates, finalists, and J.D. for being part of this amazing and prestigious award. Brother Rice is very excited to welcome the new Juniors of the Year this school season, in hopes they exemplify the meanings of a Crusader.