Caldwell valedictorian aims to become a video game developer | news of progress

WEST CALDWELL TWP. – James Caldwell High School (JCHS) class of 2022 valedictorian Aidan LaChac will take one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming a video game developer this fall when he begins classes as a major in computer science at the University of Texas at Dallas.

“The field is both interesting to me and broad enough to support many career opportunities,” he said.

LaChac was named both a National Merit Fellow and an AP Honors Fellow. He was a semifinalist in the Presidential Scholars Program, one of the nation’s highest honors for outstanding high school students.

“My time at JCHS exposed me to many different people and opinions and gave me the opportunity to learn from those around me. For me, Ms. (Julia) Hollman and Mr. (Patrick) Phelan and their discussion-based classes have been particularly instrumental in this regard,” said LaChac, a member of the National Honor Society.

Although he was pursuing a career in technology, some of the humanities courses he took were his favorites, particularly Hollman’s AP US History course, Phelan’s AP English Literature course, and Susan Callaghan.

“I would also like to thank Mrs (Jacquelyn) Stafford, our excellent media specialist,” he said.

LaChac made the most of the music program by singing with the Retromen, the high school’s all-male singing group, as well as the Madrigal Singers, and performing with the jazz band.

“I have always enjoyed the Music Marathon, an annual performance event that features not only the band, choir and orchestra, but also smaller ensembles and individual artists. It’s great to see all the musical talent in JCHS.

Outside of school, he played the piano for 10 years and worked hard to earn a black belt in karate.

An active participant in Caldwell Boy Scouts Troop 6, LaChac achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in his sophomore year by painting a map of the United States on the tarmac at Lincoln School. He also spends time in the summer working as a counselor at a Boy Scout camp.

He stressed the importance of good time management as the key to success.

“At JCHS, I learned to manage my time and use every moment to my advantage. Taking time at school to do work can save time away from school, which helps when you have a busy schedule. I would consider organizing time and managing deadlines to be among the biggest challenges for students. »

Family support is another important ingredient in achieving goals.

“I consider my parents and my sister to be the most influential in my educational career. They always motivated me to do my best,” he said.