Gol-Dann Slater has pursued multiple interests in high school while also maintaining an excellent GPA and contributing to the community. He’s shown equal talent as well as passion for both math and sciences, which made it difficult to choose his future career track.
Peter Pratz says Slater was the top student in his AP statistics class and demonstrated exceptional qualities. Pratz was especially impressed that Slater maintained excellent grades while taking tough coursework and being involved in numerous activities.
“It shows a lot of maturity and focus on the prize to not be distracted, as often happens to high school students,” Pratz says.
Slater’s commitments have included several high school clubs that showed his diverse range of interests — from media club where he enjoyed photography, to the Environmental Club, where he pursued his passion for the environment. As a member of the Key Club, he also participated in community service projects, including raising money for charities around the world.
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He says he didn’t have a lot of confidence in himself to try new things as a freshman, and he only took easier classes where he knew he would succeed. Since then, he gained self-confidence and became much more involved while also taking more rigorous courses.
“This year was my best year because I joined a lot of clubs and met a lot of new people,” he says. “I’m more involved with school and taking harder classes. But school is easier and it’s probably because of how much I’m involved.”
A major focus this year was a computer science club that Slater helped start at Peninsula with his teacher and another student. He participated in several coding competitions and has been developing his programming skills.
“He is hard working, intelligent, creative and dedicated to developing a deep understanding of the world around him and how it functions,” says his computer science teacher, Jennifer Nichols.
Outside of the computer science club, he considers the environmental one his favorite.
“I care about the environment and I want to learn more and make a difference,” he says.
Slater has not decided on a college yet and is debating between a major in chemical engineering or actuarial science. Chemical engineering is a family tradition that includes two uncles and would help him pursue his passion for the environment; he was also inspired by his father, who is a pharmacist. However, he’s not discounting the other path, thanks to an AP statistics class that he enjoyed.
Category: Science and technology
Education: Senior, Peninsula High School
Parents: Gaylene Peterson and Albert Slater
Activities/Achievements: 7 AP/Honors courses, AP Scholar Award, 2015 Microsoft coding competition, 2016 PLU coding competition, Python programming language, Key Club, Environmental Club, Computer Science Club co-founder, Media Club, Phoenix literary magazine, 175 hours of community service
Favorite teacher: Peter Pratz. “Along with his funny, laid-back personality, he taught AP statistics in a fun, exciting, eventful manner, and puts a smile on everybody’s day.”
Best thing about high school: “It’s tough to choose between school spirit and the amazing teachers, but the teachers are all supportive of everybody and create a fun learning environment.”