Student Spotlight: Technically talented student plays role in transition to online lessonsJun 15, 2020 11:20AM ● By Jet Burnham
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
Alec Reynolds, a technically talented senior from Herriman High School, was instrumental in making the transition to online teaching easier for teachers. As part of an internship last year, he and a partner rewrote a program to allow teachers to easily incorporate YouTube videos into their online Canvas lessons.
“Little did we know at that time, our tool would be very important in the case of this pandemic,” Alec said. “Teachers don't have to worry about such a problematic system and can simply focus on providing content for the students and find videos with ease without having to learn to code themselves.”
As with everything Alec takes on, he deepened his learning of coding through the experience.
“Taking on the internship with only a basic understanding of a single code base, I came out of the internship learning three whole new systems,” he said.
Alec takes every opportunity to increase his programming skills, taking computer science classes and taking on programming jobs.
“It has been a wonderful experience for me to see a student absorb what I teach and then try to take this knowledge to a deeper level,” said HHS computer science teacher Samuel Puich. “He constantly wants to learn and experiment.”
Puich said Alec is a one-of-a-kind student.
“In my nearly 30 years of teaching at the high school and collegiate levels, I have rarely had the privilege of teaching and mentoring a student of his caliber,” he said. “Alec is highly intelligent, very motivated, incredibly passionate, and his respect for others is unmatched.”
Alec admits he pushes himself to be the top, constantly trying to one-up himself.
“I have learned I am capable of doing far beyond my self-set preliminary expectations,” he said.
Alec’s high school career has been full of activity in school clubs, music, sports, community service and fundraising for school and community. Alec joined Future Business Leaders of America and DECA (a business club) and frequently advanced to state and national competitions with his projects. He participated in the local technological Lassonde Challenge and was also awarded $750 for his web development business plan by South Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Alec’s love of learning and focus on his schooling is a survival instinct. School has become his escape from reality as he deals with unstable and emotionally trying family circumstances at home.
“One thing I have learned is that the hardships never change,” he said. “I just have learned to take control of my own life and not let my family dictate it for me.”
Alec focused on earning good grades so he'd be able to leave home and go to college. He is headed to the University of Utah to study computer science.