GSHS: home to many successful and highly competitive athletic programs, a strong and championship-winning Mock Trial team, a national-caliber cheerleading squad, an amazing drama/music department, a great DECA program, and so much more. All of these venues are highly celebrated in our school – and very worthy of everyone’s praise. Yet there are also many, many great achievements that occur every day in the high school that never get the recognition they deserve. One of these is the independent study in calculus by two of our smartest seniors. Ms. Anne Swanson, the calculus teacher at the high school, said “I suppose that I encouraged Hansen and Tyler to take an independent study in calculus, but it didn’t take much encouraging. They were ready to go.” Swanson is the advisor of seniors Hansen Nordsiek and Tyler Mitchell’s independent study. The two chose to take on this task because they both really enjoy math. At the end of the year, Hansen and Tyler will take the AP Calculus BC test, which will test subject matter from calculus 1 and 2. It will also make it possible for the two to get two times the amount of college credit than by just taking the AP Calculus AB test, which only assesses knowledge of calculus 1. Swanson does not know of any student who has attempted the Calculus BC test before, “At least no one has taken it in my four years here,” she said. Hansen commented, “The independent study has been everywhere from ahead of schedule to behind schedule, from fun to frustrating, from easy to almost insurmountable difficulty.” Both Hansen and Tyler have their definite strengths and weaknesses. Swanson said that Hansen is diligent and extremely curious about the subject. She said that Tyler is very quick and easy to work with. On the other hand, sometimes the seemingly unrelated concepts are hard to put together, quickness can result in silly mistakes, and too much time is spent on making problems more challenging by looking for solutions that are too difficult. Swanson has also had a great challenge as the advisor of the independent study. “Answering Hansen’s thought-provoking questions in material beyond where I’ve ever taught has been the hardest thing for me.”Hansen Nordsiek was born in Denver and has lived in Glenwood since he was 1 year old. He has one brother, Kirk, who also attends GSHS. Hansen is involved in Chess Club, swim team, and DECA. His favorite memory in high school is from the state DECA competition last year when his partner and he (although claiming not to be very good) won fourth place and qualified for DECA Internationals. Hansen said, “Everyone assumes that all I do outside of school is study. This is incorrect. I do many other things such as watch TV, play videogames, and sometimes I do nothing.”Hansen is planning on attending school in Michigan, and he is excited about moving away from the dry Colorado climate. In five years, he sees himself working on his master’s degree in physics or working in the field of inventing.Tyler Mitchell has lived in Glenwood all of his life. Tyler is a member of the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), Chess Club and DECA. His favorite memories are from DECA as well; this year Tyler placed second at state in his event and is headed to Internationals this April in Dallas, Texas. He also placed first at six different DECA competitions this year.In his spare time (“which I don’t have much of anymore”), Tyler likes to play a lot of videogames and watch a lot of football. He also reads as many books and watches as many movies as he can. Tyler said that many people may not know that he is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is currently learning another Korean martial art, Tang Soo Do.Congratulations to both Hansen and Tyler on being the Students of the Month. They have both worked very hard inside and outside of school. And the work is not over yet, as the AP Calculus BC test is in early May. “Hansen and Tyler have worked so hard,” Ms. Swanson said, smiling. “What they’ve done this year in calculus is really amazing to me.” Good luck, guys! Cassidy Willey is a senior at Glenwood Springs High School.
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