Superintendent’s Spotlight: Thomas Kanz


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Thomas Kanz

October 20, 2022

Each week, Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach shines the Superintendent’s Spotlight on one of Warwick Valley’s amazing students. Superintendent’s Spotlights feature students who reach goals, face challenges, and are role models to their peers.

As the school year began, WVHS senior Thomas Kanz received this message from the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) program:

“Your performance on the AP® Computer Science Principles Exam in May 2022
was so superior that it falls into an extremely select category.”

That’s because Thomas not only achieved the highest possible score of “5” on the exam, but was one of just 196 students, of the 130,000-plus who took it, to earn every possible point on the college-level test – a perfect score! To provide some perspective, that puts Thomas in the top 0.15% of all 2022 AP Computer Science Principles Exam takers.

“I feel fortunate to know I was one of only 196 students from around the world to receive a perfect score,” said Thomas, who is a long-time Warwick academic standout. Thomas enjoys academic and intellectual pursuits, always taking courses and undertaking projects that are challenging and enriching.

He has achieved Summa Cum Laude honor roll status every marking period of his high school career, while being active in Youth in Government, Future Farmers of America, the WVHS OCAL Academic Team, the WVHS Crew Tea, Boy Scouts of America (A Life Scout about to become an Eagle Scout!), and more. In September, Thomas was also recognized as a Commended Student by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for his performance on the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). His score placed him among the top 50,000 students to enter the 2023 competition.

Thomas’s personal mantra is, “Your day is what you make of it,” something he unswervingly believes and lives by.

“It’s important to test your limits and go for the things you choose to pursue wholeheartedly,” he said in a Spotlight interview last year.

“Only you can decide what those things are and put in the work to get the most out of them.”

Thomas is passionate about computer science and dove deeply into the content of his AP Computer Science Principles class last year as part of his packed schedule that also included AP Computer Science A. He knows the focus, dedication, and the hard work he put into the class all year, during school and at home, really paid off.

“I put a lot of effort into the class on a consistent basis,” he said, “I felt that I was prepared to perform well on the exam.”

Thomas also gives his teacher, Mr. Scheuermann, lots of credit for getting him prepared for the exam.

“He was always available to answer questions and help me interpret algorithms,” said Thomas. “We used an online platform called Project Stem, which was helpful because it provided a curriculum with resources for each unit, including videos, interactive projects, and practice problems that helped me prepare.”

Thomas’s one goal going into the exam: to do his best. For him, that meant achieving the top available score. So, did his perfect score surprise him? While he expected he was going to do well, he said he was “quite surprised” to find out he had earned a perfect score.

“I expected that I might have made a mistake somewhere,” he said, “however, this was not the case, since I earned every single point possible.”

The College Board AP program gives students opportunities to tackle college-level work while still in high school. Through taking AP Exams, students are able to earn college credit and placement.

“We applaud your mastery of the content and skills of this AP course and wish you many future successes,” said Trevor Packer, Head of the Advanced Placement Program.

Thomas said that his success on the exam has motivated him to keep striving for excellence, and that computer science figures prominently into his plans for the future. He plans to study computer science, data science, and economics in college.

“I want to expand my knowledge of computer science with the hope that I can use my skills to make a positive impact on society.”



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