Sibley Senior Spotlight: Andy Nguyen
Sibley Senior Spotlight: Andy Nguyen
Posted on 05/16/2016

The Senior Spotlight series features interviews with Sibley seniors who have shown commitment to academic excellence and personal achievement. The series will highlight two seniors each week until graduation.

Andy Nguyen
Senior Andy Nguyen

Son of Hoang and Diep Nguyen, from Eagan

Soccer, saxophone, and service have been three constants for Andy Nguyen during his four years at Henry Sibley High School. When not excelling in the classroom, Andy has been busy finding success through these three areas.

A member of the Henry Sibley band program for all four years, Andy has played in the Symphonic Band in ninth grade and the Wind Ensemble for the last three years. The past two years Andy has served as the first chair alto saxophonist for the Wind Ensemble. He’s also a two-year member of the jazz band, serving as the saxophone section leader as a senior.

A saxophonist since fifth grade, Andy has accumulated a number of awards for his musicianship, including a superior rating at the Region 3AA Large Group Contests as a member of the Wind Ensemble and a soloist award at the 2016 Eau Claire Jazz Festival.

“My main musical influence are my father, who encouraged me to take up music from a young age, and my band Director Amy Powers, who has always been there to help me improve as a musician,” said Nguyen. “Also, my saxophone lesson teacher James Prindiville, has been a great influence as well.”

Andy is also a four-year member of the Henry Sibley boys’ soccer program, serving as the last line of defense as the team’s goalkeeper. During his senior year Andy was chosen as a team captain, the teams Most Valuable Player, and an All-Metro East Conference honoree. During the summer Andy plays traveling soccer for the Eagan Wave Soccer Club.

Along with his commitment to soccer and music, Andy is also a devoted volunteer. During grades 9 and 10 Andy donated his time to his local library. For the last two years, meanwhile, Andy has volunteered at United Hospital, assisting patients and family members to their rooms and discharging patients, among other activities.

The dedication Andy has shown to his co-curricular and volunteer activities also extends to the classroom, where Andy has received an Academic Letter all four years at Henry Sibley and was named an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Honor. His rigorous course load includes AP courses in United States History, Economics (Micro and Macro), Language and Composition, Physics Mechanics C, Calculus and Computer Science, as well as two years of Concurrent Enrollment (CE) Spanish courses.

Next fall, Andy will enroll in Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Though he is still unsure about a specific major, he hopes to purse a science-related career, possibly in medicine, engineering or computer science. Before setting of for Duke, however, Andy will participate in the Radiology Imaging Careers and Networking (ICAN) Scholarship Program at Mayo Clinic – a week-long educational program providing opportunities for high school students to explore imaging health careers and, eventually, apply to one of Mayo Clinic's imaging training programs.

Previously Andy attended Pilot Knob Elementary School and Friendly Hills Middle School.


District 197: How has Sibley prepared you to succeed after graduation?
Andy: I think that the teachers that I have had in most, if not all, of my Advanced Placement classes have been very good at getting me to think critically and occasionally creatively. The teachers and classes that I've been enrolled in have helped me work well with groups and additionally figure out how I work and study as an individual. In addition, I think Sibley's music and soccer programs have made me a better leader and team player.

Who is your favorite teacher or what is your favorite subject?
It's tough to single out one teacher, but if I had to choose, I'd choose Mr. (Peter) Bohacek as my favorite teacher. He's always there to help you if you need help and is great at making things click when you need them to. The thing that I like about his teaching style is that he encourages group learning and fixing past mistakes. In class, he has us whiteboard physics problems in groups of two and present our solutions to the class. He also makes cool physics videos and asks us to figure out what's going on in these videos.

What’s a memory from your time at Sibley that will always stay with you?
This might sound like a silly thing to remember, but during my junior year of high school, my chemistry class managed to set off the fire alarm on accident from outside the school. A group in my class was lighting a rocket for an experiment, and lots of smoke crept into the school, setting off the fire alarms and making the entire school evacuate on the day of finals. Mr. (John) Kelly's look of embarrassment will probably always stay with me.

What advice do you have for younger students about high school?
I think it's important for incoming students to try to challenge themselves by taking an extra class instead of a study hall or an advanced class instead of a regular one. I also think that it's important for students to find some extracurricular activities to participate in throughout their years at high school. I think that extracurricular activities are great for having fun, making new friends, meeting people, and developing students into better people. I do not advise, however, to load up on as many extracurricular activities as possible. I think it's more important for students to get a sense of what they are passionate about and to have fun doing these activities. Personally, I wasn’t involved in a ridiculous amount of extracurricular activities, but I did find two things that I cared about, soccer and music, and committed lots of my time into those activities. I think that committing lots of time into a few activities is better than committing a little time into several. However, if students are curious and want to try new things for the purpose of meeting people and figuring out what their passions are, then I encourage them to try out Sibley's wonderful and plentiful array of activities.

Anything else you’d like to share about your time at Sibley?
As cheesy as it might sound, I think it's important for students to enjoy their four years of high school. Even though I'm graduating soon and am on my way to college in a few months, I'll always be sentimental of my time at Sibley. Go Warriors!


Read about other achievements by students in the class of 2016:

-Sibley Senior Spotlight: Angelina Contreras
-Sibley Senior Spotlight: Emma Verby
-Sibley Senior Spotlight: Jose Figueroa Castro
-Hannah Delmont named Henry Sibley's 2016 Athena Award winner
-Cailin McMahon recognized by National Merit Scholarship Program
-Eighty-six Henry Sibley students earn AP Scholars honors
-Moog, Fischer named National Merit Semifinalists
-Meet the School Board's new Student Representative, Drew Conway