VERNON — Becoming not just the pride of Washington County Schools, but the entire state of Florida, Vernon Middle School Student Marquez Brown was recently honored by Florida Senator Don Gaetz for having one of the highest Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores in Math in the state of Florida.

“I’m speechless,” said Marquez. “I wasn’t expecting to have the highest score in my school let alone the highest score in the entire state of Florida. That’s just an unbelievable honor.”

Brown contributed his academic success to his family, his teachers and to God.

“There was a lot of hard work, dedication and God,” said Marquez. “My family and teachers keep me focused in class and at home.”

Marquez has placed second in every spelling bee from the first grade until the sixth grade when he placed first at his school and then third in the district.

He said there were some improvements that could be made in the area of Science for him, but his love of mathematics might be genetic. His mother, Shameka Brown, was in the top Who’s Who in the area of mathematical achievements.

Another motivation, Marquez said, was to be a good role model for his younger siblings, Zelaney, Shemilyah and James.

“I want to be a mentor to them like Milton Brown has been a mentor to me,” said Brown. Milton is Marquez’s uncle.

On top of his academic achievements Marquez also maintains a position in the VMS football and basketball team as well as being a member of the BETA Club, Chipola Trio and Algebra Honors. In Pre-Algebra he was one of two with the highest GPA at his school.

He also has a scholarship to any college of his choice through the Take Stock in Children Foundation. The school Marquez said he’d like to enroll at is Florida State University, however he is still torn between wanting to become a professional football player and a doctor.