NEW CASTLE —
He said he wasn’t surprised to hear that Maas aced the math test.
“I knew he was close, based on the testing we gave through the Princeton Review,” he said.
But Maas says he topped his own expectations.
“I was surprised,” he said with a smile.
The New Castle Area School Board presented him with the district’s Pride and Promise award this week for his achievements, which also include highest honors at the state Junior Academy of Science last year.
Mantinaos has had Maas in his math classes for three years — first in honors algebra 2, then in honors pre-calculus, and this year in advanced placement calculus class.
“He’s a super, super kid. He’s a meek, humble person,” the instructor said. “He’s the smartest guy in the room. He works extremely hard and he is definitely advanced. He’s the type of kid that he’d be the last one out the door and always look at me every day and say, ‘Have a nice day.’” “He seeks out knowledge,” Mantinaos said. “He’s very, very gifted. He definitely is one of the better students I’ve had in a long time.”
He says Maas can think in three dimensions, which was exemplified in his Junior Academy of Science project demonstrating 3-D imaging.
Mantinaos likes to think his classes pose some challenge to Maas, and Maas, in turn challenges his teachers.
Siciliano gave Maas additional work in “killer” math problems that were not given to other students in class.
“He asked for it and he did it,” he said. “That’s the type of kid he is.”
“What we’re doing in advanced placement calculus is new to him,” Mantinaos said. “I can give him some very advanced things and he would have the ability to think it through. Advanced placement allows us the opportunity to do that.”
Mantinaos credited Maas’ parents, John and Brenda, for his upbringing. Maas is the oldest of three children. His sister, Cassandra, is 15, and his brother, Michael, is 11.
“He’s always a happy person,” Mantinaos said.