Trumpet Player Valedictorian: Rick Zang

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rickzangvalesWhen Principal Joe Bova came on the intercom to announce the class of 2010’s four valedictorians and salutatorian, students were astonished to hear the 5.0 grade point averages read aloud. While many of us could only dream of having GPAs that high, these five students were living life in an unconceivable way. School, music, sports, community service, Hero Project, and any other extracurricular activities just became a balancing act for these students. Not to different from the rest of us.

So, who are these students? What is it that sets them apart?

For Rick Zang, it would be his hard work and dedication that earned him that solid 5.0.  He claims that his greatest challenge was keeping an enthusiastic attitude.

“You think junioritis is bad, just wait until you have senioritis. It is magnified. Just doing the actual work and staying motivated is difficult,” Zang said.

He shared that AP Biology was his hardest class because of all the work given. However, it was his AP Calculus class taken in his junior year with Mr. Villa, that he found the most fun.

Zang has even decided to change his prior childhood ambition of becoming a space shuttle astronaut to mechanical engineering studying as a green technician.

“I plan on studying mechanical engineering at MIT,” he explained.

Just as many high school seniors eagerly wait for acceptance letters in the mail, Zang has been accepted to first school of choice- MIT. He also has earned himself a full-ride scholarship into the University of California, San Diego.

Outside of Foothill Zang plays the trumpet for Ventura High School. He has been in numerous performances and has even participated in All-State Honor Band a few times.

“Music is my passion,” Zang shared.

In addition to music, Zang volunteers at Habitat for Humanity for his Senior Hero Project.

“It is really easy and I would recommend it [Habitat for Humanity] to anyone struggling to think of something to do for their Hero Project.”

There has been speculation that the valedictorians are not human. When asked “robot, alien, superhero, or experiment,” he answered with enthusiasm.

“Super hero? or at least I wish I was. I could fly then.”

Photo: Rick Zang, valedictorian, poses inside a junior Cold War metaphor project. Photo by Alison English, The Foothill Dragon Press.

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