National Merit Semi Finalist to go to Georgia Tech

Calum Shank
Video Editor

Justin Barker graphic
Senior Justin Barker poses with Albert Einstein statue at Georgia Tech where he plans to go to college. Photo from Justin Barker

Senior Justin Barker is a well known student at the high school, mostly for his academic success, and his achievements such as being recognized as a National Merit Semi Finalist, and a top 100 Missouri Scholar.

Barker recently committed to the Georgia Institute of Technology. He intends to major in electrical engineering.

Barker has played on the chess team since freshman year and scholar bowl since sophomore year. His favorite classes include calculus, physics and statistics, which are taught by Eric Dunn, Jane Knittig and Justin Mathes. He also enjoyed Spanish and programming classes as well as chemistry and philosophy.

“I would consider the success and amount Justin has accomplished in high school to be very rare. He’s a role model in the sense that he has done a great job of maximizing his talent, which is something I hope all kids do. Obviously the area that Justin is most gifted in is math which isn’t everyone’s forte but I hope everyone makes the most of their individual gifts,” Barker’s calculus teacher, Mathes said.

“My main interests outside of school include Rubik’s cubes and Minecraft. I have been to about 25 cubing competitions (pre COVID) and have a small Minecraft server I play almost every day,” Barker said.

“Justin is one of the most incredibly talented math students I’ve ever had the privilege of teaching. I enjoyed having him in class, not just because of his ability, but also because he had a good sense of humor,” Mathes said.

“I think people should consider how they balance their personal life in terms of time they spend with friends and time that they spend alone,” Barker said. “That balance might be very different for different people, but everyone should try to make sure they’re getting the balance they need in their personal life.”

Calum Shank – Video Editor

This will be Calum Shank’s first year on ECHO staff, but he made several contributions while taking journalism class his freshman year.

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