Wade Kovalik

North Atlanta High School, senior

Wade Kovalik wants to be an aerospace engineer. Or a pilot. Or maybe both.

“My dream would be for an aircraft or rocket design that I worked on to get selected for government or private contract and to get put into production,” Wade said. “It would be an awesome feeling to see something that I helped design actually fly through the air or in space.”

He’s working on it. He builds drones in his free time. And he’s had a internship at the Georgia Tech Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory.

At the same time, Wade’s academic performance landed him in the top 5 percent of his class and he has received multiple honors, including the STAR Student Award, which usually is given to the student with the highest SAT score in his or her class.

“I have a solid work ethic. It just isn’t in me to do things halfway, especially if it’s for something I genuinely care about,” Wade said. “I love to learn beyond what is taught in the classroom, or even about things that aren’t taught in school at all—like pretty much everything I know about aeronautics and space. Learning about new things is just something I’m really passionate about.”

Wade’s teachers see him as well-rounded, ambitious and hard-working.

“While Wade was my Latin student he was the absolute light of my life,” says Christine  Conklin, a teacher at the Thomas Jefferson HS for Science & Technology in Alexandria, Va. “His excellence and dedication to the language was renowned and certainly appreciated and respected by me.”

Balancing a demanding academic load with his activities in engineering, Wade also finds time to tutor his peers with Mu Alpha Theta. He also plays clarinet in North Atlanta’s Band.

“Wade has an impressive resume and we are proud of his accomplishment in being North Atlanta High School’s Class of 2016 STAR Student,” Senior Director Daryll Robinson said

What’s Next?

Wade aspires to attend Georgia Tech next year with a major in Aerospace Engineering.

This article was reported and written by Johnna Gadomski, a senior at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.