Senior Spotlight: Andrew Zuckerman
Senior Spotlight: Andrew Zuckerman
Posted on 06/09/2017
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 the end of the school year.

Andrew Zuckerman PictureANDREW ZUCKERMAN

Son of Steven and Deborah Zuckerman of Mendota Heights

Some people discover their talents later in life or develop a variety of interests over time. Others just know what they love to do from an early age. This was the case for Andrew Zuckerman who has been a visual storyteller since he was young. First, making short videos and then eventually, longer-format movies that he has successfully submitted to local and national film festivals.

“I have just always really liked movies,” said Andrew. “I used to draw a lot in middle school and that eventually turned into making videos.”

Among his classmates, Andrew is the go-to guy for creating videos. He is the one they look to when they want to promote Give Once For All (GOFA), Sibley’s 50+ year fundraising tradition, or even the school musical. According to Andrew, it’s all about getting more and more experience as a filmmaker. He has also produced promotional videos for Dodge Nature Center and created videos for friends’ Bar Mitzvahs.

In his junior year, Andrew learned about the Henry Sibley Business Professionals of America (BPA) club. Through regional, state and national competitions students can demonstrate their business skills and compete against students from other schools. 

Andrew, along with several friends, found a niche in BPA through the Video Production Team competition, in which students are given a topic and are asked to produce a 2-5 minute Public Service Announcement (PSA). The team’s tire safety video won third place in the regional competition and third place in the state competition in 2016. This year, Andrew and company produced a video about the dangers of drunk driving and earned first place in regional competition, which allowed them to advance to the state competition.

Andrew’s young film career has really taken off with movies, however. In 2015, Andrew wrote, directed and edited a 30-minute movie called “Room for Three” about two friends who go camping and make an unexpected discovery. When it was finished, Andrew decided to submit it to the Frozen Film Festival in St. Paul where it was named Best Student Short Film.

Two years later, Andrew teamed up with classmate Dillon Orth and wrote the movie “Rasco”, a western, which won Best Student Short Film at the 2017 Frozen Film Festival and Best Student Screenplay at the Manhattan Film Festival in New York. Andrew and Dillon recently submitted “Rasco” to another national film festival and they are currently waiting to hear if the movie was accepted and if it will win any awards.

Andrew’s other activities at Henry Sibley have included the Ping Pong club, LINK Crew and Youth Leadership. He has also been a long-time member of the Sibley tennis team, playing with the high school team since 7th grade. Andrew was named All-Conference in his junior year. In his junior and senior years, he was a tennis team captain. Andrew even contributed to the girl’s tennis team as their manager this year, helping to keep track of scores and hit balls with the team during practices.

In the classroom, Andrew has challenged himself with Advanced Placement (AP) courses such as Statistics, Language and Composition, U.S. History, Biology, Psychology and Pre-AP Science.

Outside of school, Andrew has been active in his Temple. Throughout high school Andrew has been a member of the Temple of Aaron Youth Group, where he says he has made several lasting friendships. 

This fall, Andrew will attend Syracuse University where he plans to major in Film within the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Before Henry Sibley High School, Andrew attended Mendota Elementary and Friendly Hills Middle School.

See some of Andrew's work! Watch the promo video he created for "The Music Man", Sibley's 2017 spring musical:

District 197: How has Sibley prepared you to succeed after graduation?

Andrew: I am confident that the diverse environment at Sibley will contribute to my success after graduation. I am happy to have attended such a diverse school with people from many different backgrounds. The wide range of advanced and AP courses also helped with my preparation for college.

Who is your favorite teacher or what is your favorite subject?
Although he no longer works at Sibley, my favorite teacher is Dann Hurlbert. I had him as my film studies teacher first semester of my freshman year. This was a class I looked forward to every single day. I could tell Dann loved what he did and the enthusiasm and determination he brought to each class period is something I strive to mirror as a guy who makes movies and as a person. To this day, Dann and I keep in touch. I contribute much of my abilities to his teachings.

What’s a memory from your time at Sibley that will always stay with you?
Screening "Rasco" is by far my most memorable moment at Sibley. We had so many friends and family who were generous enough to give our little movie a shot. It meant the world to me, and I know it did for the cast. It's a night I will never forget. Huge shout out to [cast members] Alex Nilles, Abi Arganbright, Dillon Orth, Mark Kladar, Lucas Bergstrom, Joe Wassweiler, Rudy Gapisnki, Noah Gardner and John Cronin.

What advice do you have for younger students about high school?
Do what you love. Whatever that may be. Don't listen to people that doubt your future success. As long as you are doing what you love, you will be happy.

Read about other achievements by students in the class of 2017: