Daniel Prohaska '18

"Projects at Norfolk Academy allow you to find your own creative voice to develop innovative solutions to classroom assignments."
University of Virginia
Robotics (Captain), Lighting Crew (Lighting Director and Lead Designer), Varsity Rowing (Coxswain), Fine Arts Association (President)
 
Most Meaningful Activity
Robotics.
Robotics is a 100% student-driven operation that has given me an experience like no other. There is no class that puts you in charge of a six-month-long design project where your dedication, ambition, and imagination are your only limiting factors. In my role as captain, I have been allowed nearly free reign to design and build whatever I want, and it has taught me invaluable lessons on what it means to overcome challenges as an engineer.
 
Inspirational Teacher Coach
Dr. Call has been an incredible teacher and mentor to me. In his two years here, I have been in his advisee group, taken three of his physics courses, and led the robotics team under his guidance. Whether I am taking notes from his lectures or getting hands-on experience by building a robot, he has always been there to fuel my ambition and catch me if I falter. He has even inspired me to pursue teaching down the line.
 
Looking Back
When I transferred to Academy in the ninth grade, I was a year ahead of most students in math. This meant that I took an upper school course while in the ninth grade. I loved the people in this class because despite my being a middle schooler, they treated me like I was one of their own, and I met some of my best friends in that class.
 
Making My Mark
I think I have inspired the next generation of engineers at Norfolk Academy. The robotics program is a small but growing project. I think I have greatly expanded the program, providing exciting opportunities for more students in the lower, middle, and upper schools.
 
The thing that most makes me a Bulldog is…my love for the school. I was very nervous when I transferred here in the ninth grade. I was an introverted guy, and I hardly knew anyone. Despite this, there were amazing people here who looked out for me and who brought me into their lives. They showed me what the school had to offer and made me feel at home. Norfolk Academy brings out the best in people.

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