2019 Scholastic Superstars: Nikolai Stefanov
Name: Nikolai Stefanov
School: Wyoming Seminary
Parent: Michael Stefanov
Q. What accomplishments are you most proud of and why?
A. I’m most proud of successfully starting the Wyoming Seminary Math Center at my school, because I’m glad to know that something I started will continue to help people even after I leave.
Q. What were your most rewarding school or community activities?
A. Definitely the math center, for the reason listed above, and teaching a GED class at the prison, because it’s incredibly rewarding to give inmates hope for something better outside of jail, albeit incredibly terrifying.
Q. Do you have any hobbies?
A. In all honesty, I really don’t have much spare time, but, when I do, I play video games, learn about math, and practice solving my Rubik’s cube.
Q. What are your plans after high school graduation? Why did you choose this path?
A. I plan on majoring in physics, eventually obtaining a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. I have committed to Carnegie Mellon University. I’ve always loved physics ever since I was a kid, and theoretical physics is definitely one of the more math-orientated fields, which greatly appeals to me due to my love of math.
Q. What do you see yourself doing and where do you see yourself living in 15 years?
A. I see myself living in Pittsburgh and running my own business, centered around creating revolutionary new products by breaking down the problems in the world to their most basic components.
Q. Who do you most admire and why?
A. I most admire my dad, because he works tirelessly to help not only me, but a plethora of other people. I know that I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now if it wasn’t for him.
Q. In a sentence, what is your philosophy of life?
A. With great power, there must also come — great responsibility.
Q. The most interesting thing about me is ...
A. I can touch my nose with my tongue.
About Nikolai Stefanov:
Nikolai Stefanov is a National Merit semifinalist. He has been named to the dean’s list with high honors for every term and has been inducted into the Wyoming Seminary Chapter of the Cum Laude Society, the national academic honor society for college preparatory schools. He is the founder of the Wyoming Seminary Math Center, where he tutors fellow students in mathematics. He also coaches the Lower School Mathcounts team and is active in Science Olympiad, mock trial, science research group, math club and student government. He also serves as the math department student representative and tutors both Upper and Lower School students in math. He has been a member of the varsity ice hockey team since his freshman year. In recognition of his many academic, service and leadership accomplishments, he received the Sem Alumni Association Service Award for 2018. Nikolai teaches GED classes at the Wayne County Jail. He also leads the Wayne County GED tutoring service.
From his educators’ nomination:
“Nikolai is a truly remarkable student. In his quiet, unassuming manner he is able to share his passion for mathematics with both fellow students and adults and is dedicated to helping students of any age overcome their challenges with math. He has taken all of the school’s most challenging and demanding courses and has achieved the highest level of scholarship at Sem. He accomplishes all this while competing in ice hockey and serving as a leader in several demanding school activities such as mock trial.”