May 25, 2018

Michael Snodgrass – 2018 valedictorian Shortridge

Michael Snodgrass, 2018 valedictorian, Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School.

You’ll have to forgive Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School Valedictorian Michael Snodgrass’ nonchalance about the reasons behind his academic success. It’s not magic or trickery, or even hard work, he said. It’s just that, for whatever reason, he’s always had a good memory.

“I’ve always been able to remember facts for a long period of time,” he said. “That’s been quite helpful throughout my time in school.”

That mystifying ability to recall facts and figures allows him to work smarter, not harder.

“I only have enough work ethic to complete the tasks assigned to me,” he said. “That helps when several things are due around the same time. I can complete tasks quickly with enough time to finish the other tasks assigned.”

Michael said being valedictorian wasn’t necessarily something that was on his radar until this spring, and he didn’t make any big changes to the way he approached his studies to achieve this goal.

Upon graduation, Michael’s plans include, of course, college. He will attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, to study electrical engineering technology, with an ultimate goal of becoming an electrical engineer.

“I like to design and build things,” he said, “and working with sparkly bits sounds like fun.”

It might not be surprising, then, to note that one of Michael’s hobbies is worthy of a true engineer: modifying foam dart guns. He takes NERF-type guns (though he mentions he is not brand specific) and either partially breaks their internal parts or replaces them with other parts in order to make them shoot farther. Currently, he is working on the design of a part that will improve a gun he had already modified.

But if he had it to do over again, what piece of information would he like to have? His answer is both appropriately simple and academic: “Sigma notation,” he said, referring to the mathematical shorthand for the sum of a range of numbers.

He does, however, say he found IPS’ computer resources to be very helpful. “Having them available during class increased familiarity with usage and makes it easier to access information for writing papers and such,” he said.

His advice for future IPS students is pretty sound: “Do your work, and if you’re going to procrastinate, make sure you leave enough time afterwards to actually get your work done.”