GHS math student wins state competition

Setting both school and district history, Zachary Nguyen is not only a sophomore at Garland High School. He is also a state champion in the 10th-grade Texas Math and Science Coaches Association number sense contest.

Nguyen gave up a weekend over Spring Break to compete against 52 students who represented 39 schools. His coach, Dr. John Hobbs, says that shows exactly what kind of student he is.

“He is an outstanding student ranking first in his class,” said Hobbs. “He is a credit to himself, his parents, his school and this district. It must also be said that Zachary is one of the nicest, kindest and friendliest students I have ever had the privilege to coach. He is constantly thanking me for my time and devotion to the math team. He is one of the main reasons I decided to teach one more year.”

Hobbs will be leaving Garland ISD at the end of the 2017-18 school year. He has taught and coached math teams for 42 years, serving at GHS for the past 11. Four years ago, Hobbs started working with Nguyen as a seventh-grader. He says Nguyen has a great mind but that his greatest asset is his work ethic. As an eighth-grader, Nguyen competed with the Garland High School Math Team and won trophies, medals and ribbons at every meet. This year, he also placed third in the calculator applications contest.

But Nguyen’s entire team deserves recognition as well for its performance at the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association competition. The GHS Math Team placed third in the number sense contest for the second year in a row. They have also placed among the top seven teams in Texas for the past five years. 

Fresh off his state championship victory, Nguyen will now advance to the UIL state number sense contest this month. He is the first GHS Math Team student to win a state title. He is also believed to be the first math team student in GISD to achieve this accomplishment.

“I would like to thank Garland ISD for having such a great education system, specifically Garland High School and its International Baccalaureate program,” commented Nguyen as he received an Evidence of Excellence award at the April 24 Board of Trustees meeting. “I would also like to thank my parents, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today. They have supported me through thick and thin. Most importantly, I would like to thank Dr. Hobbs for his dedication to the math team and his dedication to helping me succeed today.”