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Valedictorian Zack Gelber Excells in the Classroom and Community

Kailey Withers

Kailey Withers

Kailey Withers, Photo Editor

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By Kailey Withers

Photograph Editor

 Senior Zack Gelber strives for greatness not only in class but outside as well. His drive for success and focus in school has led him to be the Valedictorian of the Class of 2017.

 With a future at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo, Gelber plans to get an applied mathematics degree and from there, do something with statistics or finance. His love for math, passion for learning, and appreciation for teachers has helped guide him to where he is today. “Ms. Schmitten, the statistics teacher [at UC High] helped me find my interest in statistics. She was always really helpful in getting me more motivated than I already was. Our school offers a lot of good opportunities to take college courses. These high-level courses have helped me further my education and get early credit for college. Last year, I took Math 150 and AP Stats, but this year I am only taking Math 254 which is the intro to linear/ Calculus 3 class. Math is fun to me because it is kind of like a puzzle, and I have to figure it out. It has a lot of helpful implications for the potential of the world. When there is stuff I don’t understand, I try harder to figure it out or I ask my teachers for extra help. So, it is not like I am instantly getting it, I just work hard to understand,” shared Gelber.

  “Zack is an amazing kid and I am honored to have been one of his teachers. He was one of the first students I would see in the mornings and I was always greeted with a smile. His work ethic is one of the major things that separates him from many of his classmates. He is constantly going above and beyond, even for the seemingly mundane tasks. He always pushes himself to do the very best and sets an academic tone to other students making the material in class seem possible. Zack also participated in the Honors Stats Contest, meaning he took a very difficult exam, on a Saturday, for fun!” shared one of Zack’s most inspiring teachers, AP Statistics Teacher Margaret Schmitten.

  “I would describe Zack as somebody who is extremely driven and focused. He works hard, participates in class, asks questions, and even takes the time to talk to teachers outside of class hours to get his questions answered. This always prepares him to do well on his tests,” explained Emmy Ibrahimovic.

 His high achievements have not only affected him but also many other students attending UC High. The selflessness that Zack displays is truly remarkable and sets an example to his peers. Gelber tutored students in Math Academy last year and continues to tutor students in the Oasis Program. On top of this, Gelber also found the time to participate in CSF Club, Interact Club, Water Polo, and Water Polo Club.

 Being Valedictorian is a huge achievement. “I would define success as: the more you realize that a lot of your problems can be fixed on your own by trying hard and not just giving up and attributing it to other outside forces, you can fix a lot of issues in your life and change a lot about yourself. In this way, I would consider myself pretty successful. It’s hard to measure it now since it is just grades and that doesn’t really matter too much, but I guess how good of a person you are and how kind or polite you are to others is more of a determinant of success,” described Gelber.

 Zack’s undying passion for water polo has also shaped who he is. “I can definitely say, Water Polo has made me thinner,” he joked. “But really, it has always been really fun playing Water Polo in the fall season. Hanging out with the team and playing in the games has really made high school fun. Since I am the goalie, I also have to be some sort of a leader and help the team. It is my job to tell them where to go and what to do. The sport has taught and helped me with my leadership skills.”

 Becoming Valedictorian is something that deserves high praise. The hard work and dedication Gelber has put into his scholastic studies and extracurriculars is admirable. Gelber leaves us with these words of wisdom for incoming students, “If I could say anything to incoming students, I would tell them to not slack off. If you do, it is like climbing out of a hole and that’s not fun. So always try to keep on top of your grades and don’t screw around more than you should.”

 Finally, remember, in the future, if you ever get asked one of those, “Who would you meet for dinner?” type of questions and want to say Zack, he’s more of a take out kind of guy.


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One Response to “Valedictorian Zack Gelber Excells in the Classroom and Community”

  1. cindy le on June 2nd, 2017 12:54 pm



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Valedictorian Zack Gelber Excells in the Classroom and Community