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Vijay Mehta

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« Thread started on: Jan 17th, 2011, 11:15am »

Super-smart Polk County student racks up impressive academic honors

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Abhinav Venigalla, who is in middle school, got an almost perfect score on his SAT.
By Rick Elmhorst, Anchor/Reporter

A Polk County middle school student is racking up some pretty impressive academic honors.

Lawton Chiles Middle Academy eighth grader Abhinav Venigalla is having fun being so smart.

Vegnigalla has gotten perfect FCAT scores two years in a row, he has won a countywide math competition, a robotics competition and now he has won a Johns Hopkins competition for the entire state.

He did that by getting the highest SAT score when he was in seventh grade. He scored a 790 out of 800 in the math part of the test.

Venigalla was disppointed the score wasn't perfect.

"I was really kind of mad sort of," he said. "I started to think back, what did I miss? What did I do wrong?"

Principal Sharon Neuman said the school figured out pretty quickly that Venigalla was cut out of a different mold.

"When we saw how bright he was in sixth grade, that's when we put him in high school algebra," she said.

Neuman said Venigalla has gotten so advanced in his math ability that he's having to take classes on line.

Venigalla seems to take it all in stride. He said his parents push him to do well in school but he actually enjoys the challenge.

"I don't know, I think I tried to practice a little more. I don't take school as a grudge. It's more like it's fun."

This week, the Polk County School Board honored Venigalla with a special certificate for his achievements during their meeting.

Principal Neuman and his father Laxman Venigalla were there for the presentation.

Mr. Venigalla said his son is just doing what he finds interesting.

"He doesn't look at it as a competition or winning," he said. "More of an interesting thing. Whatever he is doing."

Abhinav said he would really like to get that highest possible score on the SAT and he may decide to be an aerospace engineer.
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