Student honored by Presidential Scholar candidacy

Ben Anzis has big plans for his future, but this week was a time to take in a significant accomplishment.

Anzis, 17, a senior at Marshalltown High School, has been named a prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate.

“I feel honored,” Anzis said. “It’s a pretty big thing.”

The program honors the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors based on SAT or ACT scores or a nomination by school officers.

“We’re just really proud of Ben and happy for him and his family,” said MHS Principal Aiddy Phomvisay. “Our teachers have really enjoyed having him as a student and he’s a fine representation of our community and school.”

Another remarkable accomplishment for Anzis is the amount of college coursework he’s completed during his time at MHS. He’s finished five semesters of math at Marshalltown Community College and two semesters of online courses through the University of Illinois. The university courses were Differential Equations and Linear Algebra.

He’s also taken a free online course through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he hopes to become a student someday.

Yes, that’s MIT, where Anzis hopes to study math and computer science.

“They have a really nice math program and a really good computer science program,” Anzis said.

He has applied to MIT and hopes to hear that he’s accepted in the spring.

Anzis takes on math problem that would make most people cringe in fear.

“I really enjoy seeing the connections between different types of math and patterns,” he said.

Phomvisay said not only is Anzis brilliant, he also is a good kid.

“He loves academics and he loves competing,” Phomvisay said.

From the scholar candidates, there will be 560 nationwide semifinalist positions announced in April then up to 141 are named Presidential Scholars in May.

“I honestly don’t know what to expect,” Anzis said of his chances to be a Presidential Scholar. “I would be happy to get it but I understand how rare that is.”