Student Spotlight: Outstanding senior finds biggest competition is himself
Jun 15, 2020 11:18AM
By Jet Burnham
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
As a twin, Mountain Ridge High School senior Andrew Ruiz said he has always been competitive. However, instead of always trying to one-up his brother, he has learned to look elsewhere for a challenge.
“I've turned more like an internal challenge where I'm just competing against myself or a mark I see from a past student or just a challenge set by teachers or a question posed,” Andrew said.
That’s what he did in Wendy Solomon’s calculus class.
“I mentioned to the class that no one had ever achieved a perfect score on a unit test in calculus,” Solomon said. “He responded with a ‘challenge accepted’ and has scored higher than any student before him on both the unit two and unit three tests.”
MRHS teachers have been impressed with Andrew’s attention to detail, love of learning, work ethic, courtesy and curiosity.
“He is constantly challenging my own thinking with high level application questions and interests,” said chemistry teacher Rachel Barlow. “He catches on to difficult, high-level AP chem concepts super quickly and is constantly seeking out the next challenge.”
Spanish teacher Cody Denton is also impressed with Andrew’s work ethic.
“He is not discouraged by a challenge but instead motivated to find a solution,” he said.
One of Andrew’s biggest challenges came when his family moved to Utah two years ago.
“Starting over and sort of finding myself was a big challenge for me,” he said. “Back in St. Louis, I was a really big sports guy. But ever since I moved here, I kind of shifted, and I've been more academically focused.”
Andrew discovered a passion for science as he studied at Real Salt Lake Academy High School last year and MRHS this year. His participation in HOSA led him to learn more about biomedical engineering as he participated in medical debate competitions. Now as a freshman in the Honors College at the University of Utah, Andrew plans to study biomedical engineering.