Alumnus place in Top 50 in National Exam

Nicolas Q. has been making a name for himself at PALY as a math and science whiz.

Last year, Nicolas placed 7th in Santa Clara Valley Math Association's Geometry Madhatter Marathon today at San Jose State University.

Just recently, Nicolas outdid himself by placing in the High Honors (Top 50) list for the United States National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) National Exam. USNCO is a national contest held by the American Chemical Society (ACS) used to select the four-student team that represents the United States at the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO).

The top 20 scorers on the USNCO National Exam are invited to participate in the two-week USNCO Study Camp at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Nicolas is pumped up and excited to tackle the exam next year and earn a spot in the top 20!

At Palo Alto High School’s recent Science Department awards ceremony, Nicolas was not only recognized for earning High Honors at the 2012 USNCO, but he was also presented with “Outstanding Achievement” awards for Chemistry Honors and Physics Honors.

Nicolas was recently interviewed at ISTP and credited ISTP's rigorous academics for providing him with the foundation and structure for his achievements. While Nicolas' academic success is evident in the awards and good grades he receives, what he learned at ISTP can also be seen in his character.

Nicolas' mother said in an email, "I know that academic excellence is highly prized in our society. And of course, Nicolas' outstanding achievements are worthy of celebration and pride. But I must say that I am even more proud of his character and integrity, as well as his altruism... I just want to say that it was just as important to know that ISTP's emphasis in cultivating honesty, integrity and global citizenship played a crucial role in shaping our children to be 'good' people."


Nicolas’ Sophomore year of high school may be coming to a close, but we have a feeling many doors are just waiting to open for this brilliant ISTP alumnus.

*In 2020, the International School of the Peninsula (ISTP) formally changed its name to Silicon Valley International School (INTL) to better reflect its bilingual programs, location, and international values.