Middle school math prodigy outscores high school students

(Garland ISD) October 22, 2012 – An eighth grader at Garland ISD’s Austin Academy for Excellence, Linh Nguyen, is still a year away from high school. But she’s already getting a preview of what her future holds as a member of the Garland High School Math Team.

John Hobbs, GHS teacher and Math Team coach, recruited Nguyen during her seventh grade year.

“She was part of an advanced math class that I taught at Austin Academy,” he remembered. “I asked her if she would like to compete with the GHS Math Team at an upcoming competition. She won the ninth grade Number Sense contest and also received the second-highest Number Sense score overall.”

Nguyen competed in two more high school competitions during seventh grade, receiving the highest GHS score at each one. A returning Math Team member in eighth grade, she continues to excel. Nguyen received the highest overall score for Number Sense and Mathematics contests at the Oct. 6 Princeton High School Fall Classic. There, she competed against ninth-through-twelfth grade students representing 32 North Texas high schools.

“I was a little shocked, but I knew that I had done well on the tests,” commented Nguyen. “It makes me feel proud to do as well and better than high school students.”

Training with Hobbs after school once or twice a week, Nguyen masters mathematic subjects far beyond those taught in middle school. She is currently learning algebra II, trigonometry, calculus, and other challenging math problems like combinations and permutations.

“Linh’s effort and work ethic are incredible,” said Hobbs. “She has a tremendous desire to excel that has put her on top. I’m sure she’ll be number one in her class at GHS one day.”

But Nguyen has set her sights higher than just being Valedictorian. With a love of math that dates back to fifth grade at Kimberlin Academy, she hopes to win a state championship in UIL academics. She also aspires to be named a National Merit Finalist, earning college scholarships.

Submitted by Tiffany Graber, Communications Specialist, Garland ISD.

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