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Levittown Tribune - Schools

Island Trees 2013 Valedictorian

Valedictorian Andres Perez is an overall impressive student. He has an incredible work ethic and a craving for learning. Perez is enrolled in the most challenging course load at Island Trees High School and has achieved a 107.78 GPA, while studying even more curriculum outside of school on his own. He scored a 1300 out of 1600 on the SATs and was honored with the AP Scholar with distinction award in his junior year.

Perez thrives in the areas of math and science. As a junior he took AP Physics, even though he had not yet completed the prerequisite for the class, pre-calculus. This, however, did not hold Perez back. He took it upon himself to learn the necessary math skills over the summer before taking the class and finished the year with a 100 as a final grade. And now, as a senior, Perez is continuing to go the extra mile. Though Island Trees does not offer Physics C or Calculus BC AP classes, Perez studied independently and took both of these exams. Nonetheless, he has taken on the preparation and course work himself.

Clearly, Perez’s hard work does not end with the school year. In the summer of 2012 he was a part of the Summer Science Program in New Mexico linked with MIT, Caltech and New Mexico Tech.

There, he studied astronomy, calculus, physics and programming to observe a near Earth asteroid to determine its orbit. While dedicating himself to this demanding program Perez also found the time to continue his participation in the public library reading program where he read and reviewed books for the library’s website.

Perez’s work ethic does not stop at his academics. He is a die-hard “RoboDawg” and is a key member of the robotics team at Island Trees. He was enrolled in the robotics class three out of his four years in high school, during which time he was also a member of the extracurricular robotics club. If you ask anyone who has seen the robot in action its moves are unbelievable. It is a well-known fact that as the leader of the robot’s electronic motherboard, Perez is the man behind these moves. But his brain is not the only asset to the success of the robotics team; his excellent leadership skills also shine in robotics as he mentors new members. Every positive aspect of his character thrives on the robotics team.

Perez has been described by teachers as having a “natural intelligence and sense of humor.” He is friendly and good-hearted, as his volunteer work and involvement in the community have portrayed. He has participated in multiple charitable activities and has put in time to help out younger students in the middle school. He is an all-around high quality person.

Recently, Perez decided to attend MIT in the fall. His love of learning and determination will lead him to great accomplishments in the future.