SOUTHINGTON - Nathan Simard, Southington High School salutatorian for 2017, wants to study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York to become an aeronautical engineer
“I’ve always loved math and science and doing engineering as part of Project Lead the Way made me want to be an engineer,” he said. “For our capstone project I designed a ‘sunstrike’ which provides electricity to tablets and phones while baseball players are sitting in the dugouts.”
Simard said that, in addition to his parents, the friends he made as part of Project Lead the Way have been the biggest help to him throughout his high school years.
“They were my best friends,” he said. “The 30 or so kids that I met through Project Lead the Way these past four years were basically the only people I talked to. My girlfriend is also in the program.”
Simard said that he will be the only person in his friends group attending at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute after graduation, with most of the others going to the University of Connecticut.
“I hope I won’t lose touch with people, but I’m excited to have a fresh start,” he said. “No one will know who I am or know my past so if I want to change I can.”
Simard was an officer in the Spanish club during his sophomore year. He has been the team manager of the Southington Girls Volleyball team since 2015 and a member of the Southington High School National Honor Society since 2016.
Simard said that he has done numerous volunteer work at events at St. Dominick Church, including volunteering at the church’s Vacation Bible School from 2011 to 2015.
Simard said that his senior year coming to a close feels “satisfying.”
“I feel like all of my work has paid off with me getting into college and getting awards,” he said.
Simard encouraged students at Southington High School to make sure that they enjoy their senior year.
“These are your last moments in public school,” he said. “Don’t overload yourself with classes and have fun with your friends.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.