NEWINGTON - The senior classâ€™ top student credits teachers and family with anchoring his academic and personal success.
Class of 2018 Valedictorian Khang Nguyen graduated from Newington High School this week with a 4.32 Grade-Point Average (GPA) and big plans. Supporting his journey over the last four years were NHS faculty and family values, he said.
â€śThe teachers here are really committed to their work and a lot of where I am today is due to their charisma and enthusiasm in teaching,â€ť Nguyen said.
Some of his favorite faculty members were Principal Terra Tigno, history teacher James Kravontka, math and computer science teacher Leslie McClane and math teacher Robert Miller.
Mathematics is one of Nguyenâ€™s specialties. He is set to attend the University of Connecticut this fall studying actuarial science and finance. Heâ€™s also considering a minor in political science or business administration.
â€śThe goal is to eventually become an actuary at one of the insurance companies in Hartford and to travel the world,â€ť he said.
Nguyen has relatives in Germany and has already visited the country, along with others in Europe. He hopes to continue this travel exploration.
â€śI enjoy the people, the lifestyle and culture in Europe,â€ť he said.
The highest academic earner in his class has high hopes, but doesnâ€™t let the future get in the way of the present.
His secret to success? Not focusing too much on the end game.
â€śDoing the work but also spending time with friends and living in the moment,â€ť Nguyen explained. â€śFocusing on things I care about, my passions. Hoping the work speaks for itself.â€ť
His grandparents moved to the U.S. from Vietnam to give their family more opportunities. These sacrifices are never far from their grandsonâ€™s mind.
â€śThatâ€™s where I get the resolve to keep going,â€ť he said.
Nguyen joined the high schoolâ€™s DECA chapter for the first time in his senior year. His project, â€śStart-Up Business Plan,â€ť placed first in the 2018 Connecticut State Career & Development Conference in March.
â€śA few of my classmates who are also going to UConn want to start a collegiate DECA chapter there, which will be cool,â€ť he pointed out.
He and Salutatorian Jessica Buslewicz both received the â€śTeacherâ€™s Petâ€ť superlative from their classmates. Neither was surprised.
â€śThe school has given me a lot in my time here,â€ť Nguyen said. â€śThe highlight was Ms. Tigno becoming principal and her whole initiative with kindness. Thereâ€™s a notable commitment to inclusion. Another highlight was Senior Prank Day.â€ť
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.