Darien High School’s top student and valedictorian is senior Alex Wang. Wang started at DHS in his sophomore year but was a student at Middlesex Middle School. The Darien native has had struggles but has persevered to achieve being the top of his class.
Wang has been very hard on himself academically through the years. He credits a lot of his ability to stay focused with his brutal self honesty. Wang said, “A motivator for me has been my personal self-honesty. In any subject I take, I am always honest about my own performance and the amount of effort I put into the task at hand. For that reason, if I am doing poorly in a class, I am always honest about my performance. I never tell myself that I am doing well in a course if the test scores and grades do not reflect a strong performance; I never claim to be prepared for an exam if, in truth, I am not prepared.” Wang knows exactly how much work he has put in and that truthfulness he has with himself has led to clearer explanations as to how he can improve in his studies.
Wang has been achieving strong grades for all of his time at DHS and with that he has been taking the most difficult courses. He obviously didn’t get any seriously bad grades but he did shed some light on what many find to be Darien’s hardest and most infamous courses. Alex specifically pinpoints AP Physics, C Mechanics, Multivariable Calculus, and AP Calculus BC. Many people who take those classes have nightmares over the curriculum and others have no idea what the classes are even about. Alex spoke wisely about these classes saying, “To be able to surmount the obstacles that these courses have posed me, I have been forced to adopt a different way of thinking that is compatible with how problems are presented in these respective classes. I would further add that there simply is no substitute to hard work. To overcome any obstacle that has been placed in front of me, I have always had to work hard and be resilient in the face of difficulty. Overcoming difficulties in these classes has also entailed reaching out to people who are more skilled in the given subject than I am, whether it be fellow classmates or teachers.”
Wang isn’t just academically fixated however; he also has an interest in politics, spending a large portion of his time on U.S. Rep. Jim Himes’ campaign, the Democratic Town Committee, state Rep. William Tong’s campaign for state attorney general, and Robert Richard’s bid for first selectman. Wang also volunteers at the Darien Historical Society where he has helped research the former boarding school at Cherry Lawn and has been looking into former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s life. Alex also has been involved in Darien High School’s Model UN and Model Congress programs. Alex has had struggles managing his time over the years but his honest mindset has been helpful saying, “In order to balance these variety of activities with my demands in school, I have been forced to say no at times to certain obligations. I have also been forced to prioritize some activities over others.”
Alex has made it clear that his goal from the beginning of high school was never to be the valedictorian. He merely wanted to “understand more deeply the content that I was examining” and with that motive he credits his hard work and prestigious accomplishments as a “side product” of the hard work he has put in. He will be studying at Dartmouth in the fall of this year and will hopefully continue dominating academically.
Lastly, Alex said, “It is my true honor to speak to the Class of 2018 on graduation day. However, I am also a faithful believer in not resting on one’s laurels; for that reason, I recognize that there are still many ways for me to develop as a student. I also recognize that there are so many of my colleagues who are more qualified than me or more skilled than I am in other ways, which increases my respect for them.”